Journalism is a dangerous business. Whether in Colombia or Brazil, Myanmar or Thailand or Lithuania, or as Chelsea Manning and Julian Assange are proving, even the US and the UK, journalists who report inconvenient truths have a way of disappearing, and being disappeared.
Serena Shim was born in Detroit. She attended high school in nearby Livonia MI, and graduated from the American University of Science and Technology in Beirut. She was married with two children, and at the time of her death worked for the Iranian news outlet Press TV.
Shim covered events in Ukraine, Lebanon, Iraq and Turkey, none of them happy or peaceful places, but all of them locations with stories that had to be told. One of her last stories was a report that Turkey was smuggling pro-US ISIS-ISIL fighters into contested areas of Syria in vehicles marked with insignia of the World Food Organization and other NGOs. After capturing the footage, Shim told her employers that agencies of the Turkish government had accused her of esoionage, and might choose to come after her,. Two days later, a cement truck intercepted their car on the way back to the hotel on October 19, 2014, killing Serena Shim and severely injuring her camera person, who was driving. The cement truck and its driver disappeared. There were services held for Serena Shim in Detroit and in Lebanon, where she was laid to rest near Beirut.
A fund and an award has been established in her honor, the Serena Shim Award for Uncompromised Integrity in Journalism. Black Agenda Report is a proud and grateful recipient of that award this year. Each and every week since October 2006 we and our contributors have tried to deliver news, information and analysis from the black left, and we hope to continue to honor the brave tradition of Serena Shim for a long time to come.