"Every war is a defeat for all of us... the practice of journalism is a commitment to life."
Jesus Abad Colorado
Photojournalist, winner of the International Press Freedom Award from the Committee to Protect Journalists in Nov. 2006
Journalism is an act of faith in the power of truth. We reporters are sometimes described as calloused, but under even the toughest exteriors lies an idealistic wish that if we tell you the truth about a wrong, you will want to help right it.
We felt this hope when our NBC news team recently reported about the atrocities in Darfur and neighboring Chad, where ethnic Arabs shouting racial epithets are systematically killing and raping black tribes people, driving them from their villages.
Our reports aired on NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams, the Today program, MSNBC, and MSNBC.com. Now, so that more people can see what is happening, NBC News has decided to take the unusual step of offering FREE downloads of these reports on iTunes, starting today.
Pretty cool, if you, like me, believe the heart of America beats with compassion, and for justice. Want proof? So many e-mails have overwhelmed NBC News in response to our reports, we are told they broke a record for our Web site. Most writers have expressed outrage the violence has not been stopped and a desire to know how to help.
That more people say they understand what is happening in Darfur and Chad and care about it, as NBC Nightly News executive producer John Reiss puts it, "is all we can ask for."
But in fact we got more. One viewer, a philanthropist, called to ask our help in directing his response: a $1 million donation to help the victims of ethnic cleansing.
"Never again" is happening again. See for yourself and bear witness.
"Crisis in Darfur" is available as a free download. You can find it in the iTunes store. Click on the "TV Shows" category and then "NBC News" and "NBC News Specials." The 28+ minute video includes my reports for the network and a conversation New York Times reporter Nicholas Kristof and I had recently about our travels to the region. I urge you to also read Nicholas' compelling columns. (If you have an NYTimes.com login, click here.) He, like me, knows the truth is powerful, and has faith it might save the people of Darfur and Chad.