On journalism

August 21, 2006

Inside Out – September 06

When a senior editor at one of Britain’s leading newspapers was called and invited as a guest to one of our events he said that he’d never set foot in the Frontline Club and called it a “wanky concept”. It is tempting to name the editor involved but I will follow the common UK practice […]


August 17, 2006

Feet in both camps (2)

When you arrive in Israel as a journalist, you have to make your way to the Government Press Office in Jerusalem to get a press card. It’s a pretty routine bit of bureaucracy – a few forms in exchange for official accreditation. Among the forms you sign is one promising that you’ll obey the rules […]


July 12, 2006

Look who’s listening

Among the momentous developments that marked the close of the 20th Century one that received less attention than most was the revelation of a new international spy ring unparalleled in its scope. This operation, known as Echelon, gave participating governments access to all the phone calls, emails,  satellite communications and cell phones around the world. […]


July 4, 2006

Cable from Kabul

All Frontline Club members have some connection to Afghanistan it seems. The former members of the Frontline TV Agency cut their teeth in the 1980s during the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. So it seems fitting that Kabul is rapidly becoming a second meeting place for club members. Peter Jouvenal established the Gandamack Lodge in early […]


June 27, 2006

In-depth Charger

Serious, in-depth journalism may be unwell but it is still alive in Britain despite an almost complete lack of institutional support in television, and limited resources in print and radio.  The definitions are many – but most would agree that investigative journalism is ‘normal’ journalism plus money and more importantly, plus time. Getting complicated, difficult […]


June 13, 2006

War and Peace

Peace Journalism is at best meaningless, and at worst a uniquely unhelpful and misleading prescription for journalism in general, and broadcast journalism in particular. Growing out of their Reporting the World series, Jake Lynch and Annabel McGoldrick demand nothing less than a ‘revolution’ in journalism practice, using this definition in their new book: “Peace Journalism […]


June 10, 2006

A Tribute to Martin Adler

The death of Martin Adler was not a surprise. It was a terrible shock, but not, truthfully, a surprise. If a man, no matter how professional and experienced, travels as widely as Martin did to the war zones of our troubled world then, almost inevitably, something bad will happen. Life-threatening environments are where film-makers like […]


June 6, 2006

Not so Great Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe has to be the only country in the world where helping the aged is a clandestine activity. One March morning in Bulawayo I received a cryptic SMS announcing “washing up liquid will arrive at 10.30am”. This was code for meeting the man who delivers food parcels to white pensioners. Everyone in Zimbabwe is terrified […]


June 1, 2006

Excerpts from Peace Journalism

Peace Journalism is when editors and reporters make choices – of what stories to report, and how to report them – which create opportunities for society at large to consider and to value non-violent responses to conflict. Peace Journalism: Uses the insights of conflict analysis and transformation to update the concepts of balance, fairness and […]


May 17, 2006

Press freedom

There is no greater threat to free societies than the murder of journalists. If journalists are not free to report, others eventually go blind: governments cannot see what’s going on at home or abroad, global institutions stagger, finance and business wither. Freedom of expression is recognized as essential to democracy and prosperity. However, 2005 was […]


April 7, 2006

Rocky road

t had been a truly awful week. As I was driving through northern Bosnia on a routine assignment the voice of my brother came through on a crackly sat phone. He told me how RUF rebels had overrun the camps he was working at in the Sierra Leone jungle and he was surrounded, under fire, […]


April 7, 2006

Signal failure

Is the Bush Administration revving up for an attack on Iran? In all my years as a foreign correspondent, I cannot recall a crisis when the real intentions of the American government have been so obscure. Reading the tea leaves presents a major challenge to the news media. What is clear is that the future […]


February 27, 2006

Get out claws

It’s been a little lonely in the hotel of late. For the last three weeks I have been the only guest. Not the only ‘foreign’ guest – the ‘only’ guest. Over the weekend a citywide 24-hour curfew exacerbated the sense of solitude by preventing my four Iraqi staff from reaching me even during daylight hours. […]