His journalism was magical, built on a foundation of prodigious reporting. His determination was not only getting to a war zone, but once there, to document every sound, sight, smell, and sentence. He wrote down what was said in lightless rooms as bombs fell, he took notes of the graffiti on walls, he scribbled fragments from books in dusty stores. I once talked to him about how he would create what became his second book, Night Draws Near. Soon, I realized that he had left Iraq with a bulky archive—in my mind’s eye, it is tied together with string—of hundreds of reporter’s notebooks, each of them carefully labeled and marked. He was first and foremost a gatherer, an observer, a listener.
For any journalist in the midst of so much turmoil, thinking about what would come in a week or a month can be a challenge. Anthony wanted to know what would happen years from now.
former foreign editor of the Washington Post
Columbia Journalism Review
Anthony Shadid, 43, died of asthma in Syria on assignment for the New York Times. He has been described as the greatest (US) foreign correspondent of his generation.