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New York Times photographer wounded in Afghanistan [Updated]

New York Times photographer wounded in Afghanistan [Updated]

[Update 4:08 p.m. Oct. 26: “I’m good,” Joao Silva told Michele McNally, the director of photography at The New York Times, in a trans-Atlantic phone call on Tuesday. “I’m good, baby.”]

[Update 10:16 a.m. Oct. 26: Friends of Joao Silva set up support fund]

The journalism community was tragically reminded once again of the dangers of photographing in a war zone with the news that New York Times contract photographer Joao Silva was severely injured after stepping on a land mine in Afghanistan on Saturday.

Silva was embedded with troops outside Kandahar city when the explosion occurred, the newspaper reported on its website. Three U.S. soldiers sustained concussions. The correspondent Silva was working with, Carlotta Gall, was not hurt.

An update on the New York Times Lens blog reported that Silva was stable and resting in Germany. More details at Photo District News.

A couple of Los Angeles Times staffers have worked alongside him overseas.

Times photographer Michael Robinson Chavez has photographed with Silva in Iraq, Israel and the Republic of Georgia.

“In war zones there is still a level of competition between news organizations, but more so there is a strong tradition that you look out for each other and share valuable information,” Chavez said. “Selfless, brave and smart, Joao is a journalist that you are lucky to be working with.

“He will be back, camera in hand, cigarette dangling from his lip…. He is tenacious and his appetite for making sure the public sees what is going on in dangerous corners of the world too ravenous to be held back,” Chavez said.

Fellow Times photographer Carolyn Cole added: “Joao is one of the few photographers who continued to cover the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan on a regular basis even after Westerners became targets of kidnappings and assassinations. It takes incredible dedication and determination to put yourself in that kind of danger for years on end.

“When he isn’t covering war, he often focuses on the plight of people in many African countries. To me, some of his most moving images are of young child workers in Ghana,” Cole said.

Another colleague, Greg Marinovich, wrote on his blog, “He has a penchant for danger and risk, but is never reckless.”

Twenty-two journalists have been killed in Afghanistan since 2001, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists. Many more have been wounded. In 2009, Associated Press photographer Emilio Morenatti lost his left foot when the vehicle in which he was riding was hit by a roadside bomb. British journalist Rupert Hamer, who was on assignment for the Sunday Mirror, was killed in January by a roadside bomb.

Top photo: New York Times photographer Joao Silva is seen on assignment in Madagascar in February 2009. Credit: Jerome Delay / Associated Press. Bottom photo: Silva on assignment in South Africa. Credit: Associated Press.


  1. November 14, 2010, 10:06 am

    […] New York Times photographer wounded in Afghanistan LA Times – 25 October 2010 […]

  2. July 20, 2014, 3:52 am

    Well, Its really a hard task to Joao Silva to enter the Afghanistan for the purpose of photography. I really appreciate this guy. Great work dude. I'm so glad that he was okay. Thanks for sharing.

    By: alex

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