Being a war reporter has to be incredibly stressful as it is. But how does it change you? How does it change your outlook on life? Lynsey Addario is a photojournalist who covers war and humanitarian issues. She went into the thick of conflict in Afghanistan shortly after 9/11 and has since reported on many stories in war-torn countries. Vice sat down with her to ask her some questions on what it’s like being a war reporter in this day and age.

Lynsey Addario on Being a Photojournalist & War Reporter

Reporting on issues of war and humanitarian crisis is definitely not a job description you take lightly. There is real danger when it comes to covering issues involving war in other countries. Photojournalist and war reporter Lynsey Addario knows this all too well. She’s seen the frontlines — from decorated generals falling in battle to seemingly preventable hospital deaths happen right in front of her.

“There’s this misconception with war reporters that we have the power help people and to stop people,” she says when speaking of watching a pregnant mother dying from blood loss in hospital care. “What we’re able to do in those situations is very limited.”

But no story is more chilling than when Addario recounts being a hostage in Libya. “There was absolutely nothing I could do to change my situation,” she says. “Aside from be quiet and endure whatever was being dealt to me.” So she stayed calm, understanding that she had no power in that situation and just focused on surviving.

“At one point they made us lie facedown in the dirt and we each had a Kalashnikov put to our heads and literally we’re just begging for or lives for what seemed like an eternity.”

Lynsey has had an amazing career as a war reporter and photojournalist, but it has definitely changed her. “The stereotype is that war photographers are really hardened and jaded,” Addario says. “I think what I’ve learned about myself over the last 17 years is that I have become anything but jaded.”

To hear more about her experience, check out the video above. Let us know what you think in the comments below!