December 1, 2008

Panicked Solutions

I wrote this oped with a colleague of mine in the hope it might get some coverage and – in part – help to stop the long march towards tribal militias that are being proposed as a ‘solution’ for Afghanistan. Nobody took it, so we thought we’d put it up here…

November 30, 2008

Why bother?

Molly Kaplan talks to three war reporters about why they do it. Of the three, regular readers and Frontline Club members will know John D. McHugh and Vaughan Smith. Less familiar may be Hiwa Osman from the IWPR. Molly asked the three to talk to students at the London College of Journalism about their thoughts […]

November 25, 2008

Farnaz Fassihi on reporting and Iraq

Farnaz Fassihi, an Iranian-American journalist, author of Waiting for an Ordinary Day: The Unraveling of Life in Iraq and The Wall Street Journal‘s deputy bureau chief for the Middle East and Africa, talks to Sara Sarnaz on the Persian Mirror. Fasshi reported from Iraq from 2002 until 2006 and in the interview she talks about […]

November 24, 2008

In the name of what?

Kate Adie says she asked this question of every interviewee she encountered during a long career as news correspondent for the BBC on the frontlines of the world. Susan Mansfield, in The Scotsman, turns the question on her,. So, Kate Adie, in the name of what? “Enlightening people. Which is a grander way of saying […]

November 24, 2008

“Basic Foreign correspondence is dead. I think that’s a damn good thing”

David Schlesinger, Reuters News editor-in-chief, gave the traditional foreign correspondent model both barrels at a debate on International news coverage at City University in London last week. “A lot of basic traditional foreign correspondence was lousy. It was reading the local papers, having some fixer translate it for you, stringing it together and sending it […]

November 7, 2008

Daniel Bennett on the Nick Meo brouhaha

Frontline blogger Dan is doing a great job trying to get to the bottom of a rather confused story relating to Nick Meo’s report on a bomb explosion just outside Kandahar recently. I recommend you go and read through both Dan’s posts on this. Start with the summary of the debate that continues to rage […]

October 30, 2008

War is a narcotic

Former New York Times foreign correspondent Chris Hedges talked to students at the University of Maryland this week about war and his book War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning. He calls war a narcotic, “I think war is the most powerful narcotic invented by mankind,” Hedges said. “War controls you; you don’t control […]

October 30, 2008

Live from the Baghdad embed

Eric Owles, a journalist embedded with US forces in Iraq, answers questions from readers on the New York Times Baghdad Bureau blog. The post is part of a series of embed posts on the NYTimes blog Q. Are you given special training ( Boot Camp for Journalists?) so that you’re qualified to be embedded with […]

October 23, 2008

CBC staff protest war reporter lay off

Staff at the Canadian TV channel CBC are up in arms at the laying off of 26 correspondents including reporting “icons” Patrick Brown and Don Murray, “These are journalists who in many ways defined foreign reporting at CBC in the past few decades,” says [a letter to network president Hubert Lacroix] “Some of us grew […]

October 23, 2008

Press freedom report 2008

The 2008 Press Freedom Index was published on Wednesday by Reporters Without Borders. You can see a full listing of the rankings here, “The post-9/11 world is now clearly drawn,” Reporters Without Borders said. “Destabilised and on the defensive, the leading democracies are gradually eroding the space for freedoms. The economically most powerful dictatorships arrogantly […]

October 14, 2008

Grim outlook for BBC says John Simpson

BBC World Affairs Editor and Frontline Club regular, John Simpson, was talking at the Cheltenham Literature Festival when he turned on his paymaster of the last 42 years, “The future? Well, I don’t think that it’s going to look very good for the BBC. I think the BBC we have known, for good or worse, […]

October 8, 2008

Far From the City

In case you were wondering what’s happening outside the city in the districts, here’s a story and a half. Ghorak district is north-west of the city, and not especially important in itself. Off the top of my head, it was the first district that the Soviets abandoned during the 1980s when they started their slow […]

October 8, 2008

Zimbabwe – There is no freedom after expression

Memorable quote from Davison Maruziva, the editor of the Independent Zimbabwean newspaper, in the IHT today, Davison Maruziva says there’s plenty of freedom of expression in Zimbabwe. Problem is: “There is no freedom after expression.” link The article goes on to discuss the state of the media in the beleagured nation and quotes Zimbabwe Information […]

October 8, 2008

The importance of photojournalism

Joanna Pitman discusses the changing nature of photojournalism in The Times in an era of camera phones in every other pocket and soldier-generated content from the front lines of every other war, “People like Philip Jones Griffiths and Larry Burrows made amazing bodies of work in Vietnam,” says the photojournalist Tom Stoddart. “But after that […]

October 8, 2008

Abdulkarim Al-Khaiwani speaks of imprisonment

Abdulkarim Al-Khaiwani, a journalist and former editor of Yemeni political weekly newspaper Al-Shora, speaks about his five month imprisonment with The Yemen Times. He was arrested in June, 2008 on “fabricated terrorism charges”. He also won the Amnesty International Special Award for Human Rights Journalism Under Threat during the same month as his arrest, “There […]

October 7, 2008

RAW in WAR Anna Politkovskaya Awards 2008

[video:google:4851574881284968082&ei] Global Voices rounds up the blogosphere’s reaction to the second anniversary of the murder of Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya. RAW in WAR Anna Politkovskaya Awards 2008 was a private event at the Frontline Club to commemorate Anna’s life and recognise those women working on the frontline around the world. Live Journal blogger markgrigorian has […]

October 7, 2008

Warlord jalied for BBC killing

Mukhiddin Olimpur, the BBC’s chief Farsi language correspondent in Tajikistan, was murdered in 1995. Nasrullo Sharifov, a rebel warlord, was jailed for 15 years today for murdering the journalist, “Sharifov was directly involved in the murder and confessed during the investigation and court hearings that he personally fired twice at Mukhiddin Olimpur from a Makarov […]

October 3, 2008

Women in war

UALR Public radio tells the stories of five women in five different wars. The audio broadcast begins with a female war reporter, Carolin Emcke is a war correspondent and the author of “Echoes of Violence: Letters from a War Reporter.” She tells Steve Paulson that what war survivors ask for most often is the chance […]

October 1, 2008

How does Sarah Palin form her world view? Easy, she doesn’t

[video:youtube:wBttm2hOhhY] I’m not sure this blog can take another dose of Sarah Palin, but here goes. Click the above clip forward on the video above to the 3 minute mark to discover exactly how the Republican Vice Presidential candidate in one of the most important US elections ever forms her world view. If you can’t […]

October 1, 2008

Threat to Iraqi journalists

Magda Abu-Fadil writes on The Huffington Post about the Iraqi journalist hotline set up recently after the killing of four staff from the Al-Sharqiya TV station in September, 2008, A ministry spokesman said hotlines would be established between various police departments, government agencies, intelligence services, swat teams and journalists to enable the ministry to protect […]

September 30, 2008

Journalists in prison

Every year the Committee to Protect Journalists releases a list of journalists imprisoned around the world. Every year since 2001, the United States has featured on this list. Joel Simon blogs about this further on the CPJ Blog, The annual appearance of the United States on CPJ’s imprisoned list since 2001 corresponds precisely with a […]

September 30, 2008

For sure they will kill us

Jason Motlagh writes on the Washington Times blog about the increasing dangers of reporting from Afghanistan. According to the post, “the government was responsible for at least 23 of the 45 reported incidents of intimidation, violence or arrest of journalists between May 2007 and May 2008” Unsurprisingly, it’s the Afghan journalists who are most at […]

September 29, 2008

The business of death

Hugh Sykes writes on the BBC website about the dangers for Iraqi journalists trying to report on the ongoing war. Almost 300 media workers have been killed in Iraq since 2003. Most of the dead are Iraqi, The editor of the Baghdad daily paper al Sabaah, Falah al Mashal, told me: “Journalism all over the […]

September 22, 2008

In defence of the shocking

Bernard-Henri Levy picks apart the media reaction to the Paris Match Taliban photographs taken by photographer Veronique de Viguerie and asks the question – When are news photographs too shocking for public consumption? – After firing a broadside at the commentators and government officials who lambasted de Viguerie and Paris Match, he offers a staunch […]

September 22, 2008

Mark Austin on “autocuties”

Last week Mark Austin, ITV war reporter and news reader, complained about pretty boy and pretty girl reporters who read the news in a studio, but have little experience in the field. He termed them “autocuties”, “I do think there are a number of pretty young women and handsome young men without a solid journalistic […]

September 22, 2008

Mark Mardell in hostile environments

Mark Mardell heads into hostile territory for the BBC, but this is just make believe. The BBC’s Europe Editor found it increasingly daft that he was missing out on stories because he hadn’t done the requisite hostile environment training course, Why am I here if I don’t want to get close to gunfire? Well, I […]

September 19, 2008

Jamie Tarabay on the frontline

NPR reporter Jamie Tarabay talks about being stationed in Baghdad for two years and on her upcoming project about Muslim culture in the United States, What was it like being stationed in these high-conflict areas? It’s hairy. You do sort of have to remind yourself to a certain degree of the danger. You catch yourself […]

September 17, 2008

The view from an embed minder

Lt. Col. Paul Fanning writes on the Daily Gazette blog about working with embedded reporters in Afghanistann. Fanning is the Combined Joint Task Force Phoenix Public Affairs Officer with New York National Guard 27th Brigade Combat Team. He documents how he helped three journalists working in Afghanistan; namely Charles Eckert, an agency photojournalist with Newsday, […]

September 16, 2008

Censorship at work in Baghdad

Caesar Ahmad and Tina Susman write about censorship at work in Iraq for the LA Times Babylon and Beyond blog. The duo describe what happened when a bomb exploded on Sunday near the Baghdad bureau of the Los Angeles Times and the photographers headed to the scene, It was about a three-minute walk to the […]

September 16, 2008

Foreign news needs real experts

Richard Sambrook, BBC Global News Director and Frontline Club regular, is interviewed in The Guardian this week. He argues for a change in the way international news is covered. He says there’s a need to greater utilize local journalists on the ground “The nature of international coverage is changing. The old model of a western […]