Will Dunlop, a duPont Manual graduate, class of 2005, and his dad R.G. visited the J&C annex on September 10 to conference with the current journalism students.
Will is an Iraq-based correspondent for the Agence France-Presse, a news wire that stations reporters in a variety of countries and sends the stories to different news publications worldwide.
As an American journalist stationed in Syria, Dunlop Jr. didn’t have access to luxuries that American journalists have in their home country. For example, the hotel that houses the journalists abroad was a two floor building, the top floor being their rooms and the bottom their offices. The common food was instant soups and loose-meat sandwiches.
“We tried to look inconspicuous as possible, because nobody wanted to look like an American journalist in Iraq. There were already shootings in the streets; we didn’t want to become a target,” Dunlop Jr. said.
R.G., on the other hand, has a more traditional background in the journalistic field. He began working for the Courier-Journal in 1977 after the New York Times rejected his application. His experience with the media was more Kentucky-centered than his son’s, and Will’s move to the Middle East was new for him.
“I sleep with my phone by my bed,” Dunlop Sr. said, “and the last thing I do every night is check my son’s Twitter feed to make sure he’s okay. If it’s been silent for a few days, I send him an email asking if he’s okay.”
Dunlop Sr.’s worrying was justified, as Will was stationed in Syria, the site of extreme conflict and rebel bombings.
“I studied abroad in Cairo after the Arab Spring movement,” Dunlop Jr. said. “Me and my friends in college were very naive. There would be shootings over the course of a few days in Lebanon and me and my friends would run out like, ‘where’s the shooting?’ And someone would say, ‘everywhere’.”