Vaughan Smith


October 17, 2018

Ethics and the Law: Journalists and International Criminal Tribunals

Debating the legal and ethical issues encountered by journalists when they are asked, sometimes ordered, to testify in international criminal tribunals.


March 30, 2016

If Truth Be Told: a rebuttal to The Spectator

On 23 March 2016, The Spectator published a hatchet job on the Frontline Club. You can read it here. This is the rebuttal that I wrote in response to Toby Young’s offer to publish one. Toby’s edit of my piece changed its meaning so much that I declined to have it published in The Spectator.


March 24, 2016

Regarding the Spectator’s article on the Frontline Club

Dear Members, Yesterday The Spectator published an article about the Frontline Club and you, its members – read it here.


November 10, 2014

In Memory of Rosalina Cardoso Cova (Ruzy)

We received the devastating news last night that Rosalina Cardoso Cova (Ruzy), the Frontline Club’s longest serving member of staff, suddenly passed away aged 39 years.


October 3, 2012

Sureties Hearing 3 October 2012 – address by Vaughan Smith

Here is the statement I delivered this afternoon to District Judge Riddle concerning possible forfeiture of our surety monies on the Julian Assange extradition matter.


June 26, 2012

Gladiatorial Interviewing is Ersatz Journalism

Here is a grumble about gladitorial interviewing which is practiced to entertain rather than inform in my view… From: Vaughan SmithDate: 22 June 2012 10:28Subject: Re: CNN interview requestName, do you feel that what you promised in your email below isclose to what happened during the live with Max Foster last night?Though it was inconvenient, […]


May 29, 2012

The First Freelance News Safety Survey

The Frontline Club’s News Safety Initiative was launched on 8 May 2012 with a meeting of news industry decision-makers, leading practitioners and freelances, at the Frontline Club. The meeting was a great success and it was clear that everyone wanted us to take the best ideas forward.


February 21, 2011

Blood and Dust film

Vaughan’s new film, Blood and Dust, is below for those who didn’t catch it on Al Jazeera’s People and Power strand. If you want to see it on a large screen we will showing it at the Frontline Clubon 6 March. Followed by a discussion about how war is represented by the broadcast media. Vaughan writes: I have […]


September 17, 2010

Afghanistan: the brittle compact between military and media

Vaughan Smith argues that news management by the military is a risky business. Smith founded the Frontline Club in London in 2003 and during the 1990s he ran Frontline Television News. He filmed the only uncontrolled footage of the Gulf War in 1991 after bluffing his way into an active-duty unit while disguised as a […]


July 28, 2010

Hunting Men

Here is my director’s cut. 22 minutes from Operation Moshtarak, exciting stuff. Shows the war as it really is. First shown on Channel 4 News in February 2010. Vaughan


February 20, 2010

Ambush in Helmand

Here’s my second piece on Channel 4 News, which was broadcast on Thursday night.  This piece also went out on PBS Newshour. They ran it with few changes but here is the link to that version as well…I think the subtiles look nicer. I will be working on longer director’s cut this weekend and will […]


February 17, 2010

Tracking the Taliban: Vaughan Smith’s video report from Helmand Province

I have just returned from a second trip with the Grenadier Guards, who I visited in Helmand in 2007. They are now in Nadi Ali, in Helmand province, Afghanistan. I was there for a month, but my computer got waterlogged and so I haven’t posted anything to my blog from there so far. However, I am […]


October 1, 2007

Owning Up To War

I have written an article in the Frontline Club newsletter linked above.


September 26, 2007

16 Minute Film on BBC Newsnight Tonight

Tonight is the night: 10.30pm on BBC 2. BBC Newsnight plan to show my 16 minute film. I could get bumped off by a major news event and if this happens it should then appear tomorrow night. The film might get picked up by BBC World and shown internationally. The 16 minute film was shot […]


September 20, 2007

Owning up to war

Since leaving them 20 years ago I have always wanted to film my old army regiment, the Grenadier Guards, on operations and I have just returned from staying with them in Helmand, in southern Afghanistan, where they have been involved in intense fighting. It was not my first attempt at filming the Grenadiers in action. […]


September 15, 2007

Back in Britain with a Bag of Video Tapes

Sadly my time is up with the British Army in Afghanistan. There are lots of journalists who want the space and I will have to wait my turn to come back. I tried to get back to Kabul in time for my scheduled flight to London’s Heathrow, but this wasn’t possible so I ended up […]


September 8, 2007

Desert Caterpillars

[video:youtube:dEnPKWSBYqk] I returned from Gereshk in a convoy of “Vikings”.  The Royal Marines left behind these strange looking vehicles when they were here last winter.  Each vehicle has two pods and wide tracks.  They are highly manoeuvrable and as useful in the desert as the arctic. I am told that they can also swim. Nobody […]


September 5, 2007

They are not Tanks

[video:youtube:HEDRM6l0SKs] I was in Gereshk to witness the first deployment in Southern Afghanistan of what the military would call “proper armour”. A company of Scots Guards, called the Right Flank, arrived in a large sand-cloud with more than 20 “Warrior” armoured fighting vehicles. Soldiers frown and straighten their collars when you call them tanks because […]


September 5, 2007

The Military Press Officer

Lieutenant Commander Mike Parr of the Royal Navy has been with me wherever I go in Helmand. I would not have been allowed to come here without a “minder”. Mike’s main job is to make sure that I don’t compromise operational security. To check that I don’t put the soldiers lives at risk by what […]


September 4, 2007

It’s Not For Civvies!

[video:youtube:Gs07W2TeF_4] Another chocolate story from the front…


September 2, 2007

Gereshk Evening Patrol and Fighting

[video:youtube:vF2Ec9_r4qY] Now I have arrived in a forward operating base in Gereshk, still in Helmand, where I am staying with 3 Company, Grenadier Guards. I have been told that the base is frequently mortared but the soldiers seem jovial. But it’s more than jovial. It is as if they don’t think that life can throw […]


September 2, 2007

Helicopter Deliveries in Helmand

[video:youtube:jJS124JAQ7I] Everyone likes a helicopter ride. I have been flying around with the Royal Air Force Chinooks over the British Army’s 12 Brigade’s area in Helmand as they delivered ammunition in under-slung loads. The helicopters are armed with machine guns and a chain gun to counter the ever-present threat from the Taliban. They are essential […]


September 2, 2007

Mortared in Gereshk

[video:youtube:ac0TXK6yuj0] I woke up early in the morning, and was sitting up on my camp-bed, when I heard a distant “pop”. It took me about a second to realise what I thought it was and I reassured myself that I was under protective cover. I was right. Shortly after there was a loud explosion in […]


September 2, 2007

Chocolate Melts!

[video:youtube:x0FeOOHDcKQ] The soldiers have been living on field rations, many of them for months on end. The rations aren’t bad. They contain the right balance of nourishment that the soldiers need but they are boring day after day. Some of the Guardsmen were joking with me that their protective jackets don’t fit them anymore because […]


August 29, 2007

Afghan Army Training

[video:youtube:kQ-S-ipUmQk] I have now attached myself to Colour Sergeant Jim Bastin of the Inkerman Company of the Grenadier Guards. He is part of the 3rd Kandak training team. I have been able to film him running through some basic drills with them on the helicopter pad. I am going to spend more time with both […]


August 29, 2007

Camel Spider!

I have never seen a camel spider (solifugae) before but have heard stories about them. I had company last night.


August 29, 2007

Sangin Patrol and the Mastiff

[video:youtube:z7oJLwUUEHg] This morning I went on patrol with the Queen’s Company of the Grenadier Guards and the First Kandak of the Afghan National Army commanded by Major Attaullah. The commander of the British ‘mentors” was Colour Sergeant “Spook” Boak. The job of training and fighting with indigenous forces is the sort of role that Special […]


August 27, 2007

Sangin River

[video:youtube:aP9WHMG2a90] I arrived in Sangin this morning by helicopter and met up with the Queens Company, Grenadier Guards. The was a soldier in the Queens Company 20 years ago. When the Parachute Regiment were in Sangin last year they were subject to almost constant attack from the Taliban. Attacks now are relatively infrequent but you […]


August 26, 2007

Peter and the Gandamac Lodge

[video:youtube:2iltEbDjM_M] While waiting in Kabul, to come down to Helmand, I stayed at Peter Jouvenal’s Gandamac Lodge. It’s run by Peter and his Afghan wife, Hassina, and I have never stayed anywhere quite like it. I was in Kabul in 2001 when Peter decided to open a guesthouse there. He had just finished as John […]


August 24, 2007

Afghanistan and the Grenadier Guards

I am off to spend some time with my old army unit who are currently in the thick of it in Helmand, Afghanistan. I used to be a Captain in the Grenadier Guards 20 years ago. I left in 1987 and went out to Afghanistan to become an independent video journalist. I have been back […]