Danny Gold Reporting from the Frontlines

Going where others dare not to get the real story.

In a time when the term “fake news” is thrown about freely, Danny Gold, a U.S. journalist and documentary filmmaker, is on a mission to show the public what true crime, politics, and international conflict are like in the real world. He’s reported on school shootings, bombings, international gang warfare, and political upheavals. He sees the fragility of human life and constant battles between good and evil, although it may sound far-fetched, Gold is on the frontlines of the world’s most pressing events, covering the world’s most volatile issues.

(Photo: Danny Gold)

Gold is a freelance journalist who also doubles as a producer, correspondent, and writer in countries with armed conflicts, organized crime, and political crises. Gold’s recent work has been published in The Guardian, Wired magazine, PBS Newshour, HBO, Fusion TV, and the 2019 September issue of The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and Esquire. Furthermore, Gold was a founding host, producer, and correspondent for VICE News, a New York-based media group with worldwide bureaus focused on documentaries and essays on current affairs. His work has taken him to countries like Syria, Iraq, Myanmar, Trinidad, and many others.

Early Career

Gold was born in New York City. His mother’s family came to the United States as refugees from Europe after World War II and both sets of his grandparents were Holocaust survivors. He went to White Plains High School in White Plains, New York. In 2005, he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in political science from Tufts University. In 2010, he received his master’s in international reporting from the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism.

Gold began his journalism career at the New York Post where he worked as a stringer or as part-time journalist between 2011 and 2012. In 2012, he began working as a stringer for The Wall Street Journal and reported on the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013 as well as the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. In the early stages of his career, Gold focused on local crime and breaking news, but in the “City that Never Sleeps” Gold was never short on stories.

Infbruno, via Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0

In 2018, the Pulitzer Center granted him the opportunity to create a short documentary on the gangs of El Salvador. The Center is a U.S. news media group that sponsors independent journalism on issues affecting the world that other broadcasters are not able to or are less willing to cover.

El Salvador Gangs (MS-13 and 18th Street)

Imagine being escorted through gang warzones in a country where you don’t speak the language and don’t look like any of the residents. In effect, you stick out like a sore thumb. You have to ride with the windows down so gang members can know which side you are affiliated with, and if you are in the wrong place at the wrong time, the price could be your life. This is one of Gold’s stories as he examined gang life in El Salvador as part of a Pulitzer Center fellowship on crisis reporting.

Despite the crackdown by the El Salvadoran government, thousands of people are still losing their lives through killings by gangs like MS-13 and 18th Street. Gold reported from San Martin, El Salvador with a pastor as his guide. Through this experience, he was able to explain how gangs controlled the population, murdered people at will, and didn’t leave room for personal freedoms or choices.

Syria Conflict

In 2012, Gold reported from Syria when civil war when broke out in the Middle Eastern nation. He was among the first foreign journalists to gain access and spend time with the YPG (People’s Protection Unit), a primary component of the Syrian Democratic Forces, which is mainly composed of the Kurds.

The Bell tower of a church in Ras al-Ayn, which was used as a base for snipers. (Photo: Danny Gold)

He also reported from Syria in 2013 and end of 2014, where he was one of the few journalists to report from Kobane, which was a besieged city at the time. His most recent story on Syria is featured in Wired magazine and details how a group of activists and entrepreneurs are using technology to help let residents know when and where bombs will drop.

ISIL Attacks in Iraq

During the ISIL (the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levante) attacks on Mosul in 2014, Gold covered it as breaking news for VICE News network. He covered the story on the frontline during the early stages of the war in Mosul and later in Kirkuk and Qaraqosh. Returning to Mosul in 2016 as a freelancer, he covered the story when the U.S. tried to liberate the city from ISIL through military operations.

Road to recovery: The future is unclear for the wrecked town of Qaraqosh. (Photo: Achilleas Zavallas)

2014 Ebola Outbreak in West Africa

Gold, together with his team, went to Monrovia, Liberia, to cover the Ebola outbreak. He produced a special 30-minute report on the epidemic. He interviewed different groups that dealt with the epidemic or were affected by it, including the aid workers, doctors, and even the victims. The documentary went on to win a Webby People’s Voice Award for Online Film & Video in 2015 for its terrifying honesty.

A health worker guards the door as a patient who escaped is escorted back inside at the Redemption Hospital Holding Center in Monrovia. (Photo: Tim Freccia)

Gold Standard

For his ability to look death, turmoil, and disaster in the face, Gold is regarded as one of the finest and courageous journalists in our modern era. He was a nominee for the annual Mirror Awards presented by Newhouse School of Journalism at Syracuse University in 2012. In 2013, he was chosen for a fellowship from the International Center for Journalists. Gold is a member of the Frontline Freelance Register and often goes where others won’t to make sure the public gets the real news.

For more information on Danny Gold and his recent works, visit his website at dannygoldjournalist.com.