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November 24, 2006

Body armor review: What the well-dressed photojournalist is wearing this conflict

Ducan Falconer discusses the finer points of body armor for photojournalists.


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If you could get all the body armor you wanted and also make standard photojournalist pay for working in a combat zone (whatever on Earth that is), would you go to Iraq, Lindsay? I'm just curious. You'd have to be a brave soul, that's for sure. In general I'm not scared of dying, but I am scared of dying a horrible death. Having my head sawed off or being burned alive scares the living shit out of me.

This war has not been kind to journalists, as I'm sure you know. They couldn't pay me enough to be there.

I've thought about whether I'd go to Iraq. It would depend on the assignment. I wouldn't risk my life to do what most foreign journalists in Iraq actually do now. For example, I wouldn't go to stay in a fancy hotel, or to be embedded with a unit. On the other hand, I don't have the skills to do independent reporting outside the Green Zone.

I'd go to Afghanistan, though.

Afghanistan does seem safer in comparison to Iraq, but being an American I still wouldn't feel safe if I were outside of Kabul. I guess I'd want to talk to other journalists who've been there to get a better feel for the situation in the Afghan countryside before I'd consider going. As long as the journalists aren't being horribly murdered I guess I'd go.

If I was going back to Iraq, I'd beg, borrow, or steal, the $6,000 to get a suit of Dragonskin.

If I were going as a journalist, I'd look into seeing if they make it in a vest configuration (which would cost less).

But I don't think anyone is willing to pay me what it would take to go back without the coercion of prison.


I'll second the Dragonskin rec. From what I've heard it's hands-down the best armor out there

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