Diary of a Bad Year: A War Correspondent's Dilemma

(Rochester, NY) – In 2011, NPR's Kelly McEvers started to see things in slow motion. She cried unpredictably. She was a correspondent in the turbulent Middle East, at the time of the Arab uprisings. Colleagues and friends were being kidnapped. Some were getting killed. But still, she went toward the story. The next year, 2012, was the deadliest on record for journalists worldwide. It was a huge hit to the "tribe" of foreign correspondents of which Kelly is a part. With independent producer Jay Allison of Transom.org, Kelly chronicles that year and her personal struggles as a war correspondent in a new documentary radio hour called Diary of a Bad Year: A War Correspondent's Dilemma, airing Wednesday, January 1, 2014 at 1 p.m. and again at 11 p.m. on AM 1370/FM-HD 91.5-2.

As she reported in dangerous places like Bahrain, Yemen, and Syria, Kelly braved gunfire, explosions, and tear gas, recording diaries the whole time. Kelly turns her reporting skills on her own life, seeking advice from doctors, scientists, and colleagues. Her goal was to answer one question: "Why do otherwise intelligent people risk their lives when they don't have to?"

The program includes interviews with Anna Blundy, the daughter of a journalist killed in El Salvador; renowned war correspondent Paul Wood of the BBC; longtime conflict writer Jon Lee Anderson of The New Yorker; famed correspondent Christiane Amanpour of CNN; and Sebastian Junger, who, with the late Tim Hetherington, made the award-winning film, Restrepo, about the war in Afghanistan.

It's a gripping story, an unprecedented and intimate portrait of the sacrifices war correspondents and their families make to tell untold stories -- and the sometimes dangerous allure of the job.

Pictured: Kelly McEvers


WXXI is the essential, life-long educational media resource for the Greater Rochester area. WXXI puts the community first with programming that stimulates and expands thought, inspires the spirit, opens cultural horizons and promotes understanding of diverse community issues. Log on to wxxi.org for more information about our services and programs.


WXXI Media Contact:

Kristin Tutino

Creative Services Department

[email protected]


Go to the NPR Pressroom

Go to the PBS Pressroom

Get logos for Media Use

Read our Media Policy

Radio Archives

TV Archives