WASHINGTON, DC -- While embedded with the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit (24thMEU) in Afghanistan in 2008, I made a brief video of New York Times Photojournalist Tyler Hicks as he prepared and then transmitted images from one of the most unforgiving locales on earth to the Times photo desk in New York. At the time I met Tyler, I was working on a piece in Afghanistan’s Helmand River Valley, along the border with Pakistan, for NOW on PBS. (Titled, “Afghanistan: The Forgotten War,” the piece was nominated for a national Emmy Award.) I think the video of Tyler illustrates the technology that has revolutionized the craft of journalism. More importantly, it gives viewers a sense of how professional, articulate and dedicated some of the practitioners of our craft can be. Tyler Hicks is an extraordinarily talented photojournalist and a role model for all who want to enter the craft. The video also illustrates my own path from still photojournalism to documentary style video journalism, or what I call "backpack video journalism."

- Bill Gentile
Washington, DC
14 March 2013
(Photo by Bill Gentile, 2008)

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