Robert Fisk (The Independent)
My favourites are mostly dead: Howard K Smith, the last US reporter out of 1941 Berlin; Alan Moorehead " read Eclipse to find out what it's like to report a real war " and, of course, the mighty James Cameron. Today, I'd say the now-retired Martin Bell; not because of his eloquence, but because he let the image speak for itself. A typical Bosnian report from Bell would run like this [pauses at the full-stops]: 'Sarajevo. Dawn. The first shells. The wounded. The dead. The cemetery. Dusk. Martin Bell. BBC. Sarajevo.' That's how war should be done on television. And not a verb there.
Orla Guerin (BBC News)
I was 25 and working for the Irish state broadcaster RTE in Moscow, preparing to go to Georgia, but listening to a report from Martin Bell in Sarajevo. On the basis of his description, I rushed back to Dublin, got a bullet- proof vest from the Irish army and rushed off to Sarajevo. I had no local contacts, no crew or anything, but Martin took pity on me and was the most incredibly kind person you could meet in a trench or battlefield. He is an extraordinary example of someone incredibly experienced and established, but with time to see a lone figure and point them in the right direction. He is also an absolute craftsman at language: there are things that he said in the course of covering that war that I remember to this day. I would also mention the incomparable Marie Colvin, of The Sunday Times, who I nominate for great courage and commitment.
Jeremy Thompson (Sky News)
Robert Fisk, of The Independent, is fearless, not only in confronting danger, but more in daring to write the truth about the arrogance, greed, corruption and mendacity of those who inflict war upon the world. Ever since we witnessed together the horror of Kuwait's Highway of Death in 1991, I've watched as he has relentlessly pursued the perpetrators of violence and been the voice of the victims. Fisk has exposed many raw, war nerves " most of them the right ones.
Jason Burke (The Observer)
Three scenes from Iraq come to mind. The first is driving south from Baghdad with Rory McCarthy, of The Guardian, and finding two dead journalists, an Algerian and a Pole, on the road in front of us next to their shot- up car. I rang my newsdesk and babbled incoherently. Rory used the incident to correct errors in early wire copy about the day's events in Iraq. Next, arriving in Najaf during the fighting last summer to find, to my immense relief, Stephen Farrell, of The Times, the hardest-working man in hack business, who proceeded to guide me through some of the most intense combat I have seen, got a great story, took pictures and, though he had been working about 18 hours a day for 10 days, was still making calls at midnight. Finally, a group of hacks sitting round the pool in Baghdad's al-Hamra Hotel one evening. Jon Swain, of The Sunday Times, a reporter whose work inspired me to set out in foreign affairs journalism and whose fine, fluid writing thankfully still appears every Sunday, had been quiet while everyone else told tales about how brave, rugged and interesting they all were. There was a long pause after a particularly egregious example and only then did Jon say: 'When I was at Khe Sanh...'
(Channel 4 News)
When we were in Baghdad during the war in 2003, we listened to BBC World Service to find out what was happening with the approaching US troops. I thought Kylie Morris was the best reporter. I always learnt something from her dispatches and she seemed to get more interesting detail than others. Among newspaper journalists, Marie Colvin, of The Sunday Times, stands out because of her bravery and commitment over many years and in many conflicts. Now, some of the best war reporters are young Iraqis going where foreign correspondents fear to tread.
Martin Bell has to be up there, because of an economy of style that starkly depicted the horror of war. …