Interview with war photojournalist John D McHugh: the truth behind covering a conflict and journalism
John D McHugh (credited to J.D McHugh

I recently had the great pleasure to interview John D McHugh, Irish photojournalist and filmmaker, who held a public talk at Wood Quay Venue in Dublin 8, on the 26th of February.

John D was born in Limerick, but he decided at a very young age to move to Britain, where he made his way into Fleet street. He covered the war in Afghanistan as a freelancer and he worked for Agence France-Press, The Guardian and Aljazeera. He is now living in London with his wife and two kids.

In this Skype interview, he explains the difficulties he encountered in his childhood because of dyslexia, how he became a photojournalist and the truth behind covering a war.

This interview offers an insightful overview of what war means from a photojournalistic point of view; John even talks about when he almost died in Afghanistan during a firefight and why he went back to the “battlefield” as soon as he rehabilitated himself.

John D addresses to important issues such as the ethics of being a journalist; pointing out that no matter what situation you can find yourself in, what really matters is how sincere, trustworthy and humble you are as a person.

In John’s words there is a hunger to communicate what he has been through; he is not ashamed to reveal his weaknesses and flaws as a human being, underneath the glamorized photojournalistic helmet he wears when he is covering a war.

In this interview, John D shows himself for who he really is : a sensible and frank man.  His words are highly inspirational for anyone who not only pursue a career in journalism but also for who aspires to be a great human being.

At the end of the interview John D says that he does not care about fame as many other journalists do, because he believes that:

We (journalists) are not supposed to be the story. The people, who we are covering: they are the story.  We are just a way of getting in their eyes


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