From warzone to psychiatrist
Paul Watson’s book Where war lives is reviewed on the Bloomberg site. Watson, who started out as a metro reporter on the Toronto Star, took his holidays in war zones. He ended up reporting from Eritrea, Angola, Somalia, Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan receiving the Pulitzer prize for his “Black Hawk Down” picture of a mob dragging the body of US Army soldier Staff Sergeant David Cleveland through the streets of Mogadishu,
There are fraught depictions of the war reporter pack as a collective of romantic, exhausted and nervous journalists living in squat conditions, filing stories in secret from satellite phones or laptops and self-medicating with “whatever booze, drug, or quick lay is at hand.” Many of his colleagues are killed. Another ends up homeless, then in a mental institution.
Watson seems beyond redemption. He’s living a life he knows isn’t good for him, and he’s hooked on the adrenaline and sense of purpose. In his prologue, he says the initial thrill of courting danger “is long gone,” and he is “left looking into the lifeless eyes of bodies that have piled up in my mind, ruefully wondering why I’m still alive.” link