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Lynsey Addario has a perspective on the world very few people will ever understand. As an award-winning photojournalist, she has traveled to some of the most dangerous places on earth. Her photographs have documented the horrors of war and the suffering left in its wake.
In an interview with Yahoo Global News Anchor Katie Couric, Addario tells many of the stories that fill her new memoir: “It’s What I Do: A Photographer’s Life of Love and War.”
“Every story takes its toll on me and leaves an impression on me,” she says.
Addario came of age as a photographer in the years after 9/11. She traveled throughout the Middle East as the “war on terror” raged on. She was kidnapped in Iraq, and dodged bullets in the mountains of Afghanistan. She survived a harrowing car wreck that killed her driver. In 2011, while covering the Libyan uprising, she was captured along with three colleagues from The New York Times. They were bound, beaten and told they were going to die.
Despite her numerous close calls, Addario says journalists on the front lines today are at even greater risk from such terrorist groups as the so-called Islamic State.
“Now it’s a business,” she says. “If you kidnap a journalist, you will make millions of dollars, or that journalist will be killed.”
Addario is still traveling the world, documenting war and conflict, but admits she takes fewer risks these days now that she has a 3-year-old son to think about.
“I don’t go to the front line. The front line is not as clear as it once was. I don’t go on military embeds right now, but that’s a very easy decision to make, because the troops have all but pulled out.”
Addario’s photographs are intense and evocative. Her work is a window into a world most would never otherwise see. But she insists that her job is to document, not to judge.
“My job is to take the pictures, communicate a message, to bring those images to the greater public through whatever publication I’m working for. My job is really to be a messenger, and that’s what I’ve been doing.”