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The Sunday Special: An NPR Reporter in the War Zone

Pacific War Museum

Kelly McEvers recently joined the All Things Considered staff as a co-host. But in 2011, she was in a very different place as NPR's Middle East correspondent during the Arab uprisings. Colleagues and friends were being kidnapped and some were even getting killed. But still, she went toward the story. Eventually she turned her reporting skills inward to learn why otherwise intelligent people risk their lives reporting from danger zones, when they don't have to.
McEvers reported from dangerous places like Bahrain, Yemen, and Syria, braving gunfire, explosions, and tear gas. She was in the Middle East in 2012, the deadliest year on record for journalists. And, she was recording diaries the entire time.


She sought advice from doctors, scientists, and colleagues. Her goal was to answer one question: Why do otherwise intelligent people risk their lives when they don't have to?


The result is an hour-long documentary Diary of a Bad Year: A War Correspondent's Dilemma, a collaboration with independent producer Jay Allison of Transom.org.


The program includes interviews with British journalist Anna Blundy, whose father, the late war correspondent David Blundy, was killed by a sniper while covering the Salvadoran Civil War; BBC World Affairs correspondent, Paul Wood; Jon Lee Anderson international investigative reporter for The New Yorker; international journalist, Christiane Amanpour, for CNN/ABC; and Sebastian Junger, who with the late Tim Hetherington made the award-winning film, Restrepo, about the war in Afghanistan.


It's a gripping story, an unprecedented and intimate portrait of the sacrifices reporters and their families make to tell untold stories -- and the sometimes dangerous allure of the job.


Kelly McEvers is the former Middle East correspondent for NPR based in Beirut, Lebanon, mainly covering the conflict in Syria. In 2012 she was awarded the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia award, the Peabody Award, the Gracie Award and an Overseas Press Club citation. In September of 2015, she became a co-host on All Things Considered.


Jay Allison is variously the founder, collaborator, and producer of The Moth Radio Hour, This I Believe, Lost & Found Sound, Transom.org, PRX.org, and WCAI on Cape Cod where he lives. He has created hundreds of documentaries and has received six Peabody Awards.

Join us for Diary of a Bad Year: A War Correspondent's Dilemma, this Sunday afternoon at 5 on the KSUT Sunday Special.