You probably didn't know who Anja Niedringhaus was until she was slain in Afghanistan last week. But for years, you've been seeing the world through her eyes.
The photographs on this page are hers, and so are many more you will either recognize or, upon seeing them, wish you'd been paying attention at the time.
Her calling was to capture the humanity of the moment: joyous, tragic or that vast space of life in between. How much better might we appreciate our own culture had she turned her lens on us? But her work for the Associated Press was in Bosnia, Iraq, Afghanistan -- the places where the most violent history of our age has unfolded. Her work in Iraq won a Pulitzer Prize.
Now one fewer set of eyes is watching.
Journalists' lives increasingly are in peril. Their work was more widely respected in war zones of generations past. Reporters Without Borders says 70 were killed on the job in 2013. More have died in Iraq than in any previous war. Niedringhaus was the 26th to die in Afghanistan.
There is another peril diminishing our eyes on the world: The shrinkage of the news industry, with fewer media companies that can afford to send journalists to far-off lands in an age when information is assumed to be available to consumers free or at little cost.
As recently as a decade ago, nearly every major American newspaper and other media outlet had overseas bureaus in key cities and routinely sent reporters and photographers around the globe for lengthy assignments. Today, news agencies such as the Associated Press still have a persistent presence in places such as Afghanistan, but only a few newspapers and websites are able to do more than parachute in for big stories and then leave to keep down costs.
Neighborhood bloggers cannot show us life in Afghanistan. Television, including cable, shows major events of the day, but it rarely can put them in perspective with everyday life in these places. Pictures and videos from unknown sources appear online, but motivations and credibility of the posts may be in doubt.
Since 1846, the AP cooperative has been the eyes and ears of member media in Washington or Moscow or Kabul. This is the family that mourns Niedringhaus today.
We are part of that family, and we join them.