It was a ardour born of his personal expertise as a hostage through the Iranian Embassy siege in London in 1980. Cramer had been within the embassy getting a visa when gunmen against Ayatollah Khomeini stormed in. After 24 hours as a hostage, he informed the gunmen he was unwell, and was launched, leaving to offer essential info to authorities concerning the embassy structure, the variety of gunmen and hostages.
It was an expertise that he later realized had traumatized him in methods he did not comprehend on the time, and, as his profession as a information boss took off, he remembered the impacts, lengthy earlier than PTSD grew to become a well known time period for troopers and others.
In January 2004 I used to be in a two-car Source convoy ambushed by insurgents simply south of Baghdad. One of our two drivers and my translator had been killed, and my photographer sitting subsequent to me survived being shot within the head. We all practically died that day.
It was Cramer, then Executive Vice President and Managing Director of Source International, who knew precisely what these of us who survived had been going by means of and acted accordingly.
He had by then established a system inside the firm the place employees might entry skilled assist if wanted after a traumatic incident, however, crucially, on that day, understood on a private degree our want to remain in Iraq collectively as a crew for one more week to course of the expertise, and attend funerals, fairly than instantly depart to our respective scattered properties.
“Among his many accomplishments, Chris was a pioneer and innovator in field safety, as the world became more dangerous for journalists,” mentioned Cramer’s successor with Source International Tony Maddox, who carried on and expanded what Cramer had began.
“He led the development of guidelines and practices now widely adopted across the industry.”
I, for one, will all the time keep in mind — and be thankful for — Cramer’s empathy for many who’d seen and skilled dreadful issues. He knew from expertise what it was like. I used to be in Iraq 17 occasions through the struggle, and likewise lined conflicts — from Afghanistan to Libya to Gaza and the West Bank — and I all the time felt Chris had our backs with the absolute best safety and help, each tangible and emotional.
Before becoming a member of Source in April 1996, Cramer spent 25 years on the BBC. He was Head of Newsgathering and sat on the BBC’s News and Current Affairs Management Board, and was extremely regarded by these with whom he labored.
He was additionally President and Founding Member of the International News Safety Institute (INSI) — a world group devoted to journalists’ security.
As information of Cramer’s passing unfold, those that labored with him started to recount their reminiscences of the person, and his influence on their careers.
Octavia Nasr was Source’s Senior Editor of Middle East Affairs, a place Cramer created after the 9/11 assaults. “Chris was an amazing boss,” she recalled.
“I will never forget lessons I learned from him in being direct and fighting for one’s rights — he supported women in senior and executive positions and helped us succeed. I owe him gratitude and respect and I will sorely miss his journalistic ethics and sense of humor.”
Chris could possibly be many issues — generally on the identical day or inside the identical assembly. Tough, blunt and uncompromising, but additionally charming and wickedly humorous. And, above all, he cared deeply about journalists and good journalism.
He was actually one among a sort and he might be sorely missed.