Sebastian Junger has made a name for himself as a journalist. After years of being out in the field, he veered towards writing fiction. He chats with Soledad about his new e-book, “A World Made from Blood.”
The man behind the books “The Perfect Storm” and “War” and Oscar nominated documentary “Restrepo,” channeled one of his earliest war experiences for his new e-book. After covering civil wars for a few years, Junger headed to Sierra Leone for his first war in Africa. A run in with rebel forces had him terrified, “I was at a situation at a checkpoint. We were stopped by rebel forces, stepped out of the jungle and stopped us for about fifteen minutes. It seemed like they were going to kill everybody.”
Surviving Sierra Leone, Junger drew from his personal experience and took it a step further to develop his new e-book about an American journalist in a war torn country in Africa, “Several years later I kept thinking about being in that really traumatic episode and thought, I want to write a piece of fiction that goes to what happened with me and keeps going.”
Though writing fiction allows him to explore what would have or could have happened, Junger is serious about protecting journalists from the possibilities. “The first war I was in, in Bosnia in ’93, I went there with a backpack, sleeping bag, and notebooks. That’s how I broke in. I didn’t have an assignment,” says Junger, “In the Arab Spring, it’s wide open for young people and that’s why mortality rates sore high.”
From his own personal experiences and the loss of his photographer and friend Tim Hetherington while out in the field, the veteran journalist began an organization, Reporters Instructed in Saving Colleagues, RISC, to provide free combat medical training to freelance war reporters.
The documentarian says, “It goes to the dangers of the job. In the last year, more journalists have been killed this past year than several previous years combined. It’s incredibly dangerous now.”