What a special treat last night! Jude Cowan launched her exhibition For The Messengers at W&T and to show his support, Channel 4 newsman Jon Snow was on hand to say a few words. Jude read from her book of poetry of the same name, and shared about her work - poetry and art - in response to the news. (She is a news archivist for ITN/Reuters.) Jude also shared raw footage of journalist Fadel Shana's last moments, when the cameraman was killed in Gaza, so that the audience could get a visual sense of the kind of materials she processes daily in her job. It was shocking and thought-provoking, to think of the 'sanitised' versions of the newsfeed we see on TV. Jude's book was dedicated to 'messengers' like Fadel and many like him; the people and lives behind the images we see which are often invisible to us. During the Q&A, Jon and Jude provided rare insight and commentary into the decisions made behind the scenes of every news broadcast. Questions raised included the role of 'mediators' played by professional news workers, the increase in mobile phone images of events taking place in real time captured by everyday people (e.g. Gaddafi's final moments), and how the latter has impacted what we have access to. Jon spoke of the pros and cons of the proliferation of such images and their importance - in the Sri Lanka tragedy for example, these images were proof of war crimes committed, something that has not been available in previous tragedies, from Bosnia, Croatia to Rwanda. But is such images were readily seen on TV, would this desensitize viewers? Would younger viewers connect the dots that this was real? Or would these images seem to be an extension of other violent images, like those in video games? Thank you Jude and Jon for an insightful evening.