Frontline Club bloggers

September 30, 2007

Wildlife-Viewing Journal – 30/09/07

So our second grizzly bear season since moving to the ranch is well underway. So far all our guests – and this year we have been pretty much full – have left after seeing at least a few grizzlies. Some have seen many. To keep our guests and friends up-to-date with the latest we have […]

September 29, 2007

Newsnight – report from Sangin valley, Helmand, Afghanistan

This is the full 16 minute documentary that originally aired on BBC Newsnight on 26 September, 2007. It’s available for download on Google Video. My original text from the evening that I returned from Sangin: I have been out on operations with Colour Sergeant Jim Bastin of the Inkerman Company and a platoon of the […]

September 28, 2007

World Press Photo exhibition opens in Mexico City

The World Press Photo awards exhibition opened in Mexico City's beautiful Franz Meyer museum last night in collaboration with Mexico's National Commission of Human Rights. The event was attended by hundreds, and features 200 photographs representing the best in press photography of last year. Images in the show range from photographs of conflict zones to […]

September 28, 2007

In the Press Gazette

Vaughan is interviewed in the Press Gazette this week about the hows, whys and history of frontline journalism, “When we started off we wanted to have complete independence, we were paying for our own trips and we were risking our lives as well as our livelihoods but there was a problem – the only place […]

September 28, 2007

From the frontline to the Press Gazette

The Press Gazette run a piece about what we’re all about. Vaughan talks about plans for the club and for supporting journalism online which is what is essentially all about, “I think the future is going to be, and if that’s the case, then we’re in the best position to compete with […]

September 27, 2007

Afghanistan Newsnight website

You can view the 16 minute Newsnight documentary on the Newsnight website for, I think, three days. We’ll post the entire film on the blog, on YouTube and Brightcove as soon as we can. Meanwhile, take a minute to peruse the Newsnight Afghanistan page for related video, interviews and links to Flickr, Google Maps and […]

September 26, 2007

Pre-Newsnight showing build up

The Newsnight film shows in half an hour – and just in case you’re still tuned in here – there’s a bit more background and preamble on the BBC Newsnight website, Twenty years ago I left the Grenadier Guards to become a freelance cameraman. Three months later I was in Southern Afghanistan filming Afghans shelling […]

September 26, 2007

Interview with Brigadier John Lorimer

[video:youtube:QGf7fY98RhM] As promised earlier, here is an interview with Brigadier John Lorimer, the Brigade Commander of 12 Brigade, currently in Helmand.

September 25, 2007

Rene Burri prefers soft focus

Frontline Network member Deborah Bonello had a natter with Swiss-born veteran Magnum snapper Reni Burri. He’s had enough of blood and guts, What I deplore is this kind of focusing on violence and almost pornographic views on what’s going on. There’s a big wide world out there which is fantastic to record. There’s still a […]

September 24, 2007

Mascot prompts YouTube frenzy

Dr. Simi is the mascot for chain of discount pharmacist shops here in Mexico, but he’s a lot more than that. Based roughly on the founder of Farmacias Similares founder Victor Gonzales, the marketing strategy has developed a cult following. [video:youtube:3AKOoClbdVQ] People dressed in Dr Simi costumes dance outside the highstreet pharmacies. He’s an easy […]

September 21, 2007

Too much violence in contemporary photojournalism, says Magnum member

There is too much of an emphasis on documenting violence in contemporary press photography, and photojournalists should document other, non-violent stories in the world, according to Rene Burri. Speaking at the opening of his photo exhibition ‘Un Mundo’ (a world) in Mexico City’s Antiguo Colegio de San Ildefonso, Swiss-born Burri told NewCorrespondent that he deplores […]

September 21, 2007

Leaving the Palace

The soldiers lead a semi-nocturnal existence between guard shifts and operations. Reveille is usually a salvo of incoming mortar fire. Almost every man smokes and few could tell me what day it is, let alone the date. They have already suffered the worst casualty rate of any British unit in Iraq, and yet are not […]

September 17, 2007

Mexico is ‘out of control’

This story appeared in Press Gazette: 17 September 2007 By Deborah Bonello Unlike Iraq, there is no war in Mexico. At least officially. Despite that, the country is one of the most dangerous to work in as a journalist in the world, second only to Iraq. A recent report by Reporters Without Borders showed that […]

September 17, 2007

Mexico’s Independence Day celebrations pass peacefully

Mexico celebrated the anniversary of its independence this weekend. It was the first time that Felipe Calderon, the country’s current president, oversaw the celebrations since he took office in December last year following controversial elections. Observers said that the military presence surrounding the annual event was much higher than past years, and the volume of […]

September 14, 2007

Mexico City’s military and police are out in force in preparation for this weekend’s Independence Celebrations

Stalls and celebrations in Mexico City’s Zocalo. The country is preparing to celebrate its Independence Day. This will be the first Independence Day to be presided over by the country’s current president Felipe Calderon, who took office in December last year following controversial elections. Metal barriers and fences sprung up in the Zocalo almost overnight, […]

September 12, 2007

30 years of photojournalism in Mexico City

September is the month of photography here in Mexico City, and a number of photographic exhibitions are running. One of the most striking to foreign eyes is that of Proceso, a political magazine based here in Mexico that has been running for the last 30 years. Lining the outside fence of the majestic Bosque de […]

September 12, 2007

Vaughan talks…

…from Afghanistan, in between mortars, machine gun fire and RPGs on BBC Radio 5’s non too shoddy Pods and Blogs show. Well worth a listen. There is plenty of discussion on how people report from Afghanistan and Iraq with war reporter David Axe. Get yourself a cuppa tea and listen in here.

September 10, 2007

Lucha Libre Fighter Fuerza Guerrera Won’t Show His Face Without A Mask

Fuerza Guerrera is a famous Mexican Lucha Libre fighter who we met in the Latino American Gymnasio, Mexico City. He refused to be interviewed with his face showing – many fighters will only be seen in public wearing their masks. So we interviewed him from behind. Forgive my poor Spanish. [video:bliptv:422133]

September 10, 2007

Lucha Libre highlights from Arena Coliseo

First it was Leono (the Lion), Metalico and Tigre Blanco (the White Tiger) up against Loco Max (Crazy Max), ArkAngel and Doctor X. Then Blue Panther, Heavy Metal and El Sagrado (the Scared) had it out with Hijo de Lizmark (son of Lizmark), Averno and Mephisto. All insults form the crowd involved a combination of […]

September 5, 2007

Vaughan does Auntie

Vaughan gets picked up by the BBC’s excellent Pods & Blogs show. Producer Chris Vallance spoke to Vaughan today and we hope to hear his master’s dulcit tones on the show next week, I’ve just spoken with Vaughan about the embed and his decision to blog, vlog and twitter. His YouTube videos highlight the intensity […]

September 5, 2007

Vaughan in the field

Vaughan’s still in Helmand and a new post is coming within minutes… Here’s a photo of the man himself enjoying the company of a large cuddly toy, a helmet and a wall. There are more Frontline Club photos, including more from Vaughan in Afghanistan, in the Frontline Club Flickr pool – which is free to […]

August 29, 2007

Lucha Libre fighter shows off bite scars

Whilst lurking around the parking lot of Arena Mexico waiting for the press pass that we've been promised, NewCorrespondent noticed that sitting around chatting to the attendant was Ringo Mendoza, a well known Lucha Libre fighter. At the ripe old age of around sixty, he is still getting in the ring, and also teaches at […]

August 28, 2007


And I as fly back to Manila tomorrow, here’s the full edit of my cockfighting story.

August 28, 2007

Photos from Basilan

New on Flickr, my photos from Basilan For hi-res downloads, low-res comps and so on, go to my photoshelter page.

August 27, 2007

Conversation with a Nationalist Socialist

La Lagunilla, one of the biggest markets in Mexico City, is a boiling mass of furniture, cheap jeans, cameras, shoes, tacos, antique fur coats, old photographs, contemporary art, beer stalls, BBQs and practically anything else that you can think of. Whilst ambling through the hundreds of stalls that spring up each weekend at the market, […]

August 27, 2007

Lack of events, dear boy, lack of events

It was a good choice, it seems. This weekend’s supposed Major Offensive turned out to be a let down – even if I’d been there, there was nothing to actually cover. Two soldiers were injured in a small firefight, but other than that, there was no contact with Abu Sayyaf or the MILF. Indeed, it’s […]

August 25, 2007

Or, for course, not

An eventful day, yesterday. With nothing to see, no access to any refugees, and very little possibility of any travel closer to the frontline, by an hour after I’d written the last post, I was ready to get off Basilan and return to Zamboanga. Zamboanga is only a 40 minute boat ride away, and with […]

August 25, 2007

Choices, choices

Written on 24 August, 07:49 local Choices choices. With a new Colonel in command, and the need to not get as many soldiers killed as they did last time, the planning for the next Big Operation Against Abu Sayyaf is taking a long time. The common story, no matter who I ask, is that there […]

August 23, 2007

One man dies and 24 are injured in Huamantla’s amateur bullfighting festival, Mexico

[video:bliptv:422064] One man dies and 24 are injured in Huamantla’s amateur bullfighting festival, Mexico One man died and 24 people, including one women, were injured in Huamantla’s amateur bullfighting festival in Mexico this weekend. Each year, the small town of Huamantla in the state of Tlaxcala celebrates the day of the Virgin Mary by creating […]

August 23, 2007

Waiting for the President

The boss’s schedule will always screw you. It’s early morning on the Philippine island of Basilan. I’m here at the Marine HQ, awaiting the ‘surprise’ arrival of the Philippine president, Gloria Arroyo. Her advance team, all 150 of them, are sleeping on the floor of the bamboo hut that usually acts as the tactical operations […]