Tuesday, April 28, 2009

MacMillan: "The War Tends To Follow You When You Leave."

WHAT DID YOU THINK of today's guest, Jim MacMillan?

Here are a few things that stood out for me:

- Journalists are first responders: when everyone is running away from disasters, journalists are running in.
- The things journalists see can have an impact on their mental states.
- Few places deal with journalists suffering from trauma. The Dart Center is one.
- In Iraq, Jim survived two car bombs, three roadside attacks, two kidnappping attempts and he was shot in the helmet. He was also knocked unconscious at one point, and he suffered hearing loss.
- He did 200 combat missions while embedded with the military.
- 16 people he got to know died while serving the country.
- He lived in squalor with the troops.
- The war was not always portrayed in the American media as it existed in reality, Jim said.
- Being embedded is "a view through a straw."
- He was part of the team that won a Pulitzer Prize for their coverage. But he said, "You can't celebrate when 100,000 people have died."
- He's now a new media guru.

35 comments:

Anonymous said...

it was interesting to hear him talk about his experiences, and his feelings on different picture that were printed. i would like to hear him talk about his experiences again and see more of his pictures to get a different look at whats going on over seas.


Jenny A

Anonymous said...

I greatly enjoyed hearing Jim speak. I only wish it hadn't been so damn hot in the classroom.


-Alex H.

Megan Minner said...

i really enjoyed his presentation of his work. I personally have forgotten that there are other members of our country out in war zones too that are not army soldiers. He enlightened me alot on experiences and adventures you can have when a being a photo journalist.

Anonymous said...

I was shocked that he had to go through so much. I was also shocked of the conditions the soldiers are in. I understand that is just how it is and I always knew it was bad but the pictures really bought it all alive for me. It was all very interesting though. His experiences are unfathomable.

-Mita P.

Jessa Filan said...

I admit I never thought of Journalism as "traumatizing". I was fascinated, yet saddened to hear how much he went through. He was an excellent photographer and story teller. I learned that journalism truly has to be your passion in order to go into this field. -- Jessica Filan

Gianna Ciao said...

I really appreciated Jim talking about his experiences in Iraq. We rarely get to see the graphic pictures because like he said, it doesn't follow the narration from our government. He made it clear that journalism can effect you mentally and psychologically, but its our duty to report the truth, no matter how traumatizing.

Anonymous said...

i really found Jims presentation about his time at war very interesting and opened my eyes to the world of photojournalism. I guess i never thought about how we got pictures from the war and other dangerous situations and his presentation made me aware of this.
-Michael Schlotthauer

Patty Giron said...

I went to a three hour seminar with Jim, really intimate with only a few people and we were all females, I get pretty emotional but can hide it well, this was one of the hardest things to sit and listen and talk through, but extremely informative, personal, tragic, sad, funny, beautiful.. He really gets down to a human level, even though he said objectivity is .. He's said objectivity is really non existent which I believe also.. all in all he's one tough son of a bitch with a heart of gold

Daniela Stetser said...

I really enjoyed Listening to Jim speak!He made me giggle a couple of times because he is so passionate about his work and it shows in the way he speaks and his thinking process. Important points and stories he wanted to share and the fact we were on a time limit.The overall presenation was very engaging ,but the pictures are what really drew me in. The one with US soliders hanging... As hard as it is to look at I think those are the images thatpeople should be exposed to. It's raw and it's reality of the US military being there!
Ithink that Jim being an advocate for individuals suffering from trauma is great and with his enthuasim he will be succussful in the cause. Also, there should be more photojournalists with his mentality and drive to inform!

Antonio Boone said...

I really respect him for going through through everything he went through and still being able to talk about it and even teach a class based on traumatic events.

Jasmine Taylor said...

It was really refreshing to hear from a man like Jim. As everyone else has said, his experiences are incredible. His is the kind of journalist who can really connect with his audience. I especially appreciate what he had to say about objectivity and truth. I think any aspiring journalist can learn a lot from Jim.

Mike Revak said...

It was a great experience to get to listen to Jim's stories, I remember talking with him at the TABJ Networking event but being able to see the photos as he spoke about everything was eye-opening. It just goes to show that sometimes journalism is not just sitting in an office and writing stories, as many believe it is. Sometimes, it will leave you scarred and torn. As he said, "war tends to follow you when you leave." Whoever said that journalism is easy and comfortable work needs to take a step in Jim's shoes.

Lara Taylor said...

I know that I could never do what Jim did, and I'm just so impressed by his work. It's scary enough for soldiers who are trained and armed to go to war, but a photo journalist has to try to remove himself from relationships, be fair and unbias, shoot spectacular photos, all the while being fired at. I loved hearing him speak and looking at his work.

Denise L said...

I believe that Jim is a very courageous man. I can't imagine being put in his position for an entire year. It is amazing that he has lived to tell the tale of war and share it with us. I think he should be recognized as a true American hero for documenting our history even when it is grim to look at.

Angelina Thoman said...

Jim's presentation definitely captivated me. Hearing him talk about the trauma he experienced was very insightful. I feel that is one aspect of the career that gets greatly overlooked, as he had pointed out. People seem to underestimate the long lasting effect that such stressful situations have on people, in general, so it was interesting hearing him talk about his personal experience.
It was refreshing to hear him speak about the truth of the war as he has experienced it, as opposed to the war that the media portrays. He truly emulates the role of journalist "watchdog".

Nicole Homaijani said...

i think that he was my favorite speaker thus far. he was real and i could tell that he is always trying to grow as a journalist. It seems like he is the opposite from the speaker we saw, i forget his name but he was shown in a firefighter outfit and he had the large camera man with him. Anyways i found that speaker to be phony and a liar. Jim on the other hand was interesting and honest. He had a lot to say and very intense/intresting experiences behind him. His pictures truly said a 1000 words.
Nicole Homiajani

meganmat!! said...

The presentation given by Jim MacMillan was truly amazing. Some of his images were so moving, not to mention he is connected with each and every one he took....and even some that weren't his own. He knew the story behind these pictures, and it truly helped me connect with him and his time with the soldiers. I feel that he was unbiased, which I think is important as far as any photojournalist's career and the subjects they cover.

-Megan Matuzak

Brigid Scanlan said...

I thought Jim was a great guest speaker. I think war and all of the images he was able to capture during his involvement over there were incredible. It really is awesome to hear someone speak of something that they are so passionate and feel so strongly about. I thought he did a great job, and really caught some captivating photographs.

Anonymous said...

Jim MacMillan had some great information to share about the harsh truth of journalism. I don't think enough journalists share the pro's and con's of documenting in a dangerous environment to the public. I believe people need to know the real factors of war and the brutal reality of those living amongst it. This way we may grasp the severity of it all and appreciate individual life on a deeper level and not take the images for granted. I appreciated MacMillan's honesty in explaining that some of the tragic photos he displayed were to be taken seriously and to realize that a "real" life was taken when that image was taken. I'm really glad our class was able to listen to some true stories of a journalist abroad and his experiences, they were really enlightening.
-B.Benson

Eileen Aurelia McHugh said...

It was really shocking to see his living conditions. It is definitely not what people would typically think of when picturing the life of a journalist. His job was very tough; I can't imagine losing that many acquaintances within a short number of days.

Alexander Narita said...

His lecture about how the war follows you was definitely from the heart and experience dealing with post war life. It really does show people the side of war journalism know one thinks about. The side of journalistic life no one considers the stress and tragedy.

Danielle Brown said...

I really liked him, there is something about him that I found really interesting. He seemed pretty numbed by the job, or he is just really good at hiding emotion. He is extremely talented, and very brave to photograph the war like that. I really found him interesting not only as a photographer but as a person.

Anonymous said...

His lecture was extremely informative in showing what was really going on over there, and the experiences he shared with us were rather shocking. I think we sometimes take for granted what journalists like Jim do for us, the public. He has been through quite a lot, and the emotion behind his voice in retelling these experiences made us all the more away of the sacrifices we must make and the things we must see to be good journalists in the face of danger.

Victoria Greco

Anonymous said...

I think Mr. MacMillan was the best speaker we've had so far. He was interesting, articulate, and obviously intelligent. He has a lot of courage to talk about his experiences. It was interesting to hear him talk about whether he would fight if he was pushed to, and the Geneva Convention's policy on journalists holding weapons.

- Jess Dunford

Geo said...

So, would you have photographed and published the image of the crying family at the funeral?

- George
(the teacher who wants you to fully process everything you experience)

Taj said...

I miss J1111. Can I come back, George? :)

Anonymous said...

I think that it was really an eye-opener for a lot of students who never fully understood what some people go through for their photos. I think it's crazy that Jim slept where he did, for so long, and went through so much danger and fear just so he could take photographs and show the world the reality of what was going on in Iraq. He is truly a dedicated photojournalist !

Liz Nemeth

Andrea Symonds said...

His bravery through out his coverage of Iraq is unbelievable. To actually be in the middle of conflict, and living in such extreme conditions was his choice. He didn't have to get as involoved as he did and I think that's what makes him such an incredible photographer. The dedication he has for journalism is truly inspiring.

peter said...

This was the most interesting presentation we had this semester, and I'd like to take Mr. MacMillan's course. I'd be interested to hear more from him, especially his observations about what AP material gets picked up by papers and which doesn't.
There is a wide gulf between what we saw in his work and what we see about Iraq in the news, and it's not just the level of graphic violence. It seems that we are really insulated from developing accurate perceptions of the real costs of this war for the soldiers and for Iraqis. When we hear commentary at all about the war, we don't often hear about it from correspondents like Jim, so this was pretty refreshing.

Peter hayakawa

Brittney Corridean said...

I think that he was very enthusiastic and excited to be here, which made it a little hard to follow him word for word! But overall I think his photos were captivating and full of life and experience he received while overseas. It's inspiring and also makes you think about life outside the US, along with the risks that these journalists take to inform the public. It's almost unreal

Amara Kamara said...

The visit on the other day in class was very exciting with the comment that Journalists are first responders: when everyone is running away from disasters, journalists are running in. Like Tigre Hill said: u have to be nut to be in this game.

Anonymous said...

I think it was cool for a journalist like him to come speak to he class. I had no idea journalist go to war to take pictures because I thought it was to dangerous. I give this guy a lot of credit because he risks his life doing a job he loves. Hope he stays safe if he goes back.

Anonymous said...

Previous comment by Kurt Mauro

benjamin toledano said...

it is interesting to see how he lived. i could never do that, especialy when he traveled in a tank in such a confined space with limited motion. is it really worth it? the fact that he hesitated when answering if he would go back might give the clue. but i dont think it is.(going into hostile teritories overseas)

Wafai Dias said...

Although he didn't speak in my semester I'm glad that he admitted that the war is not always portrayed the way it is in the media, because this is the fact that I knew from day one.