(John Olson/Stars and Stripes)

Saigon, Vietnam, May 6, 1968: Life Magazine photographer Co Rentmeester is examined at a U.S. Army hospital after being hit by a bullet while covering the fighting in Saigon near Tan Son Nhut. Rentmeester was hit in his left hand. The Dutch photographer was hit with the same bullet that also wounded fellow photographer Art Greenspon, a freelancer for the Associated Press. Viet Cong and North Vietnamese forces started shelling more than 120 provincial capitals, towns and allied military installations across South Vietnam on May 5, and battled government and U.S. troops inside the capital Saigon. The follow-up punch to the Communist Tet Offensive of Jan. 31 would last several days. The new offensive already had cost the lives of five journalists by the time Greenspon and Rentmeester were hit.

Today, World Press Freedom Day, Archive Photo of the Day salutes those who cover conflict zones not with a rifle, but with a laptop, pen or camera.

During the conflict in Vietnam — including the French-Indochina war years starting in 1955 — 63 journalists were killed, including one of Stripes' own.

Paul Savanuck was with C Troop, 3rd Squadron, 5th Cavalry Regiment when their night encampment was overrun by North Vietnamese forces, April 18, 1969. Savanuck was one of 11 Americans killed during the attack. He had just joined Stripes' Saigon bureau two weeks prior.

Since then, conflict reporting has become more deadly. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan cost the lives of 288 journalists and 70 media workers in the years 2001 through 2021, according to data from the Committee to Protect Journalists.

Again, the list includes Stripes' own. Two Stars and Stripes contractors were killed delivering the paper to U.S. bases in Iraq in 2005 and 2006.

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