Many of the international journalists who come in and out of a country like Bahrain rely on fixers—locals who are willing to help them set up meetings, serve as translators, and generally get the lay of the land. Particularly for correspondents tasked with a broad geographical area to cover, fixers are a vital part of being a journalist. In fact, it would be no overstatement to say that they are the unspoken heroes of almost all modern war reporting.
Unfortunately, fixers are also—almost always—at greater risk than international correspondents themselves. They lack international passports and foreign embassy protection. They are also essentially invisible in the news production process. They don't have bylines; they don't show up on camera.
Last night, Mohammed Hassan—who has helped several reporters and was featured prominently in Dan Rather's recent special on Bahrain—was caught up in a clash with police, hit with a stun grenade, and beaten by security forces according to activists on the ground. He is currently missing, likely arrested.