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Pocketmags Digital Magazines
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Exit strategy

Marie Colvin put everything on the line to report the truth about war— even when there was no way out, says her friend Lyse Doucet

It’s hard to find the exact word for it but journalists know the feeling. That ache in the gut when a major story breaks and you just have to “be there.” Being there was the trademark of the US war correspondent Marie Colvin. For her it was about bearing witness to war, always for longer than anyone else, preferably before anyone else. Her work earned her respect from colleagues and competitors alike. It also took a tremendous personal toll—and then it took her life.

Seven years after her killing by Syrian military shellfire in besieged Homs, Colvin herself has become the story. There’s a feature film based on her life starring Rosamund Pike (A Private War), a documentary through the eyes of her equally brave colleague the photojournalist Paul Conroy (Under the Wire), and a biography entitled In Extremis by her friend and fellow traveller Lindsey Hilsum.

The Marie moment comes as Syria’s tragedy, which had dominated foreign news headlines over the past seven years, is slipping from the world’s gaze. Meanwhile, journalism continues to confront an existential crisis, and correspondents on the front line are at record risk—53 were killed in the line of duty in 2018.

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In Prospect’s March issue: Gaby Hinsliff explains why all sides of the Brexit debate feel like they’re losing. She says that the Brexit war has raged on for two and half years and disfigured British politics in the process, leaving Remainers in mourning and Leavers crying betrayal. Elsewhere in the issue: James Ball, Martin Moore and Barbara Speed examine how we should be less worried about the tech giants Facebook, Amazon and Google and more worried about the data they hold about us. Ball argues that breaking up these huge companies isn’t the answer; Moore asks what would happens when a tech giant wants to run a smart city, and Speed looks at the increasing trend of tracking everything in our daily lives from the amount of water we drink to how many notifications we receive to our smartphone. Also, Rachel Sylvester profiles Sajid Javid, the Cabinet minister positioning himself for the top job.