Four months ago, Westport native Tyler Hicks and 3 New York Times correspondents — including fellow Staples grad Lynsey Addario — were captured in Libya.
Last month Tyler was back in Africa, chronicling South Sudan‘s independence.
Now he’s in Somalia. Yesterday the Times ran his harrowing photo of a starving child on Page 1.
According to the Huffington Post, the photo touched many hearts.
It outraged others.
Huffington Post reports: “While jarring, Times executive editor Bill Keller told (us) that the decision to publish was ‘kind of a no-brainer.'” The photo was “pretty much the consensus” of the top editors at the paper’s 4 p.m. meeting.
… We realize, of course, that the story du jour is the debt vote — to which we devoted the lead story and upwards of four pages this morning — but there’s no reason that has to eclipse a human catastrophe in Africa. Readers can follow more than one important story at a time. Jeffrey (Gettleman, the reporter) and Tyler went to great trouble and some risk to get as close as they could to the calamity in Somalia. They sent us a harrowing story and vivid, arresting photographs. We put them before the attention of our readers. That’s our job.
Over 500 Huffington Post readers commented. Many praised the Times’ decision — and Tyler’s photo.
One wrote: “Guess it’s hard for some in their air conditioned rooms eating 3 good meals a day with a nice home to go to to see this reality huh? Shame on us.”
Another said: “How horrifically sad to be offended by the sight of a starving child. Perhaps it is the conscience of those offended that pricks them so hard they cannot stand it.”
The Times’ website includes 15 heart-rending photos by Tyler, including this one:
Click here for a full — and haunting — slideshow.
Last night, Tyler was interviewed on the CBS Evening News, by anchor Scott Pelley. Tyler described the dismal situation:
Everywhere in the city there are people streaming in. Particularly the thing that jumped out at me were the amount of children and how incredibly frail they were. There are women – every single one is carrying what looks like skin and bones and I honestly — there were moments that I didn’t notice that the child they were carrying was alive until they shifted and you could see that the child was moving.
Click here for the full CBS Evening News video.