Bayeux a brief homage
Goksin's last day at Sipa Press, 30 years to the week after founding the agency, Friday December 19, 2003 © Alix William/SIPA
“He didn’t always pay us very well, but we owe him a great deal.” This was Patrick Chauvel’s strong closing statement during the too brief homage paid to Göksin Sipahioglu by the organizers of the 18th edition of the Bayeux-Calvados Award for war correspondents. A short interview with the founder of Sipa Press, an excerpt from the film Rapporteur de guerre (War Correspondent), was shown first, followed by Patrick Chauvel’s speech during which he told the famous story of Göksin’s arrival in Prague in his red Ford Mustang pulled by a Soviet tank. The story particularly amused the audience because Patrick Chauvel himself arrived in Bayeux in his own white Ford Mustang. “The tradition….” he soberly commented.
But the brevity of the homage to Göksin Sipahioglu who was both a great reporter and an immense editor-in-chief perfectly illustrates the incomprehension which reigned in the past and is still too often rampant between the different forms of journalism.
The fact that Göksin Sipahioglu was for forty years one of the most important editors in the world, and as such, responsible for sending hundreds of photo journalists to wars all around the world was seen as important enough to modify the established program. It is regrettable.