Nick Clooney

Inside Media: A Journey to Darfur

April 18, 2009

Guest: Nick Clooney

By Lesette R. Heath, special programs coordinator

An old reporter’s notebook. A pair of sand-filled boots. Both are reminders of the days Nick Clooney spent in war torn Darfur.

The veteran journalist was "transformed" by what he and his son, George, witnessed there in April 2006: the little boy with the missing limbs; the mother faced with making the ultimate sacrifice.

The Clooneys chronicled these experiences and others in the documentary "A Journey to Darfur," which takes a compelling look at the plight of refugees who escaped militias ravaging the western region of the Sudan.

They returned to the United States as staunch supporters of the people of Darfur, something the elder Clooney felt awkward about in the beginning.

"I had gone to Darfur as a reporter, and I came back as an advocate. That was not easy. It’s a very awkward thing for reporters to do — to actually speak on behalf of something — when all of our lives, we attempt to be evenhanded in our reporting of things," he said.

Clooney hopes others follow his lead and take action against what the United Nations has described as one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises.

Before people see the film, Clooney said, "my hope is that I will be able to transport you to where I was. I want a tiny chunk of your heart, and that’s a lot harder to get and much harder to give."

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