How do you mentally prepare for the risk of a war zone, and what about when a situation turns dangerous? When you’re being forced to lie facedown at gunpoint?
Lynsey Addario: At least a week before I go on any assignment in a conflict zone, I begin mental preparation. I speak with local journalists and fixers about the situation on the ground, with colleagues who have worked in that specific area recently, and try to update myself on the potential risks. The situation is often fluid during war, and I need to ensure I am aware of all the potential issues that may arise. Familiarizing myself with these things helps with mental preparation. As far as being held at gunpoint or kidnapped, I think there’s a survival mode that kicks in. My mind slows down into an almost catatonic state, where it’s all about enduring whatever I need to endure at that moment. In Libya, I was with very experienced colleagues, and we all knew not to panic. One reason we stayed alive is that we stayed calm.