During the hostage incident, Sze phoned his family back home, but did not want to make them worry. He just kept telling them: “I am fine.”
The experience has made Sze treasure his family more. “I will consider my family more and spend more leisure time with them,” he says.
Sze is grateful to his parents for respecting his choice to be a frontline reporter and also thankful to his fiancée. She is a former journalist who shares his values and supports his work.
Although many people might suffer from trauma after similar ordeal, Sze says he did not suffer any emotional distress afterwards. “I’m not the kind of person who experiences dramatic changes in my emotional state,” he explains.
His appetite for reporting from the frontline has not been blunted, although he is now more aware of the dangers and will think more before he acts. Even though he knows how intriguing and eye-catching news and images of war can be, he also knows he should not take risks. “A journalist is not a soldier. No news is worth a life.”
The experience in Libya has not scared him away but made him more determined to be a good international correspondent who may encounter danger on the job.
This determination may come from more than just a desire and tendency to “run around” as Sze puts it. It also comes from a passion to pursue the truth that can overcome his fears and worries.
He remembers it was the events of September 11, 2001 that kindled his interest in reporting frontline international news. He was working on the foreign desk at the Oriental Daily, translating the news from the wire agencies.
“I didn’t even remember to rest. I was so overwhelmed by the magnitude of the news even though I was not carrying out my duty at the scene,” he says.
Although the events of the day faded from his mind, they never stopped influencing him.
Sze’s Libya assignment is over for now. But he is ready to don the flak jacket and helmet again any time. He is as determined as he was 10 years ago, because this is the job he loves.