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 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

WRL: Reporting Afghanistan and the secret service blog

1. ‘Bill-and-Bob’, who describes himself as a ‘citizen soldier with 26 years of service’, comments on US media coverage of the war in Afghanistan: “Wars are expensive. The war became tedious on television news and the sensationalization of the American death toll became a daily litany that constantly reminded the American public that we were […]

September 9, 2008

Milbloggies 2008: Go vote for your favourite milblog

The 2008 Milblogging Awards have been open for a couple of days now. If you want to nominate a blog you’ll have to head on over to before Wednesday. Voting will begin on Thursday. There are several categories: U.S. Air Force U.S. Army U.S. Marine Corps U.S. Military (Parent) U.S. Military (Spouse) U.S. Military […]

September 9, 2008

Ugly of war

John D. McHugh, Frontline Club member and regular in these parts, has his latest short film from Afghanistan up on The Guardian website. He to a member of a the US army Medevac team about the day to day job of helping the wounded and the dying. John says he has a lot more footage […]

September 7, 2008

“No Peace Without Islam”

Received one of the irregular news update bulletins from Kavkaz Center just now. Was just googling to find the precise details of a reported press conference held by Sheikh Mukhtar Robow Mansur in Somalia this week. For more on Sheikh Mukhtar see this recent interview. “No Peace Without Islam” is the title of a new […]

September 7, 2008

Kandahar Police HQ Bombing

Just missed being caught up in a double suicide-bombing in Kandahar City. Bombers targeted the main police headquarters in an attack just three minutes after I exited the building. Detonations were at approx 13:21 and 13:23. The police commander was allegedly injured in the attack, but there are mainly only rumours at this point. The […]

September 6, 2008

Daman District

Went out to Daman district (Kandahar still) yesterday evening for a walk in the countryside. Shoran Dam is an area that has almost total sympathy with the Taliban, so we didn’t stay too long, but long enough to enjoy the peace of being outside the city. The days are getting longer, all the more so […]

September 5, 2008

Milblogger reflects on attacks at Camp Salerno

About two weeks ago, Camp Salerno in Afghanistan was attacked twice in two days by Afghan militants. Milblogger Rich Phillips, who spent some time at Salerno, says articles like the ones linked to above (BBC) are useful for the broader picture of what happened, but will not provide a close-up view: “I know from experience […]

September 3, 2008

Ramazan Grape Trip

Went out of town this afternoon to get some grapes. Not that you can’t buy them in town, but actually driving 45 minutes into the districts to pick them yourself is always more fulfilling (and more interesting). So we headed to the land of a friend in Dand district. He has about 50,000 grapevines on […]

August 30, 2008

Canadian diary from Kandahar

Canadian journalist Graham Thomson spent six weeks during the summer embedded with the members of Roto 5 – or Canada’s fifth rotation – in Afghanistan. He stayed mostly in Kandahar and surrounding districts of districts of Zhari and Panjwaii. Canwest news publishes his diary today.

August 28, 2008

Missing the humanity of the Taliban

Lyse Doucet, BBC World News reporter, a good friend of the Frontline Club, old Afghan hand and a regular at club events, spoke about reporting from Afghanistan in Edinburgh recently. She called for more of a focus on the humanity of the Afghan people in media coverage of Afghanistan, ‘What’s lacking in the coverage of […]

August 27, 2008

Taliban continue war against civilian contractors

Civilian construction companies and contractors working for the Canadians in Kandahar suffered another blow today as they were hit in an IED attack in Maiwand district, close to the Helmand border. One labourer was killed and 6 other workers were injured in the attack. The worker who was killed had just said he was going […]

August 25, 2008

Tobi Cohen recalls Kandahar IED incident

Tobi Cohen, a journalist with The Canadian Press, describes the IED incident she was involved in with Scott Deveau from the National Post in Kandahar this morning, With little else to do on the agonizingly slow journey, we chatted. Two soldiers got out of the vehicle to inspect the road for possible IEDs, or improvised […]

August 25, 2008

Embedded reporter shaken up in Kandahar IED

Scott Deveau, a journalist with Canwest News Service and the National Post, was travelling in the back of an armoured vehicle with a Canadian Press reporter Tobi Cohen and a group of soldiers when their vehicle struck an improvised explosive device (IED) in Kandahar this morning, “The strike hit about five feet from me,” Deveau […]

August 23, 2008

The Tale of Mullah Omar’s Eye

As the cliché goes, Mullah Omar is the ‘reclusive one-eyed leader of the Taliban’. You can see him in the photo above, one of only a handful that exist, his right eye just a socket. But how did he lose his eye? I’ve been doing some interviews for what I’m calling my idealistic oral history […]

August 21, 2008

John Hemming hitches a Humvee to Kandahar

Jon Hemming Reuters chief correspondent in Afghanistan, heads to Kandahar with a convoy of U.S. troops, Normally as a reporter driving around Kabul, I take great care to avoid being anywhere near a foreign military convoy as they are the Taliban’s favorite target. But when you’re inside a Humvee, the tables are turned and you […]

August 17, 2008

Rude Awakening

I’ve been woken up each morning at around 5am for the last two days by a constant stream of helicopters and jets passing over my house here in Kandahar City. A big battle is being fought in Dand district, just over 10 kilometres away from the city. The Taliban are able to operate within the […]

August 14, 2008

The Fixer gets Tribeca funding

The Fixer, a film by Ian Olds, is one of seven documentary film projects to recieve funding from the Tribeca Film Institute‘s inaugural Gucci Tribeca Documentary Finishing Fund. Each project will receive $80,000 to help towards post production costs. The Fixer focuses on the relationship between Afghan translator, Ajmal Naqshbandi, and the war reporter Christian […]

August 12, 2008

Live from Kandahar… soon

[video:youtube:VOiLs95QpV8] Frontline blogger Alex made his way down to Kandahar last week – you can see a bit of his recent journey through Arghandab district in the short clip above. He’ll be based in the southern province for the next eight or nine months. Well worth keeping an eye on his blog. He’s putting up […]

August 6, 2008

Muting the war

Fascinating reminder of the way American and western media report the wars in Iraq and Afghanstan on The Media Channel, Why do I think this image from Thursday’s NYT is so profound? It’s because the military has been so overwhelmingly effective in muting the war, and the war photographer, that — practically without notice — […]

August 1, 2008

Last Words

The last word, I think, should go to Mahdi, from Behsud, and Wakil Hani of the Wardak People’s Council. (see post below this for more info/context). Mahdi is self-explanatory, and Hajji Wakil Sahib (at the end) is just explaining that he hopes that the stories of the people from Behsud will be told to the […]

August 1, 2008

Behsud: Kuchi atrocities?

The story is so small and on such a local level that nobody is particularly interested. With an ever-growing insurgency, are international readers really interested in a conflict within the conflict, in which there are no international actors, nor anyone the ‘international community’ need particularly pay heed to… Even within Afghanistan, it doesn’t merit any […]

July 21, 2008

Frank Gardner on getting back to work

[video:youtube:vIYF6rg5uPQ] Frank Gardner, the BBC journalist who was shot by Al-Qaeda gunmen and left for dead in Saudi Arabia in June 2004, talks to Attitude TV about getting back to work, the Saudi shooting and about his recent assignment to Afghanistan.

July 20, 2008

Belfast Post does a week in Helmand

Is everybody going to Afghanistan this week?? Maybe it has something to do with someone else’s arrival there at the weekend. In addition to Liz Perkins from the South Wales Evening Post, Lesley-Anne Henry will be in Helmand all week for the Belfast Telegraph.

July 20, 2008

Corkscrew into Camp Bastion

Liz Perkins, Health reporter on the South Wales Evening Post, is heading to Afghanistan for one week to report on the soldiers stationed at Camp Bastion. After arriving in Kandahar, it’s on to another plane, a “corkscrew” landing and… cricket, I was warned beforehand to be prepared that it would descend to the ground in […]

July 15, 2008

Afghanistan – Not won yet

Aryn Baker talks over a slideshow of some great shots of British troops in Afghanistan on the TIME Magazine wesbite. Click the image above to play the slideshow. The article accompanying the images is called Afghanistan – A war that’s still not won, The villagers couldn’t–or wouldn’t–fight back. “We are afraid,” says Madin. “The Taliban […]

July 14, 2008

Kim Sengupta talks to Ahmed Rashid

[video:brightcove:1657894487] Ahmed Rashid spoke recently at the Frontline Club with the BBCs Lyse Doucet and today it’s another Frontline Club member’s turn Kim Sengupta. He talks to the fighter turned foreign correspondent in The Independent today. He recalls how the Pakistani authorities banned him from working and the Taliban said he must be killed, “It […]

July 11, 2008

Taliban shadow governor killed?

In a little-reported story from the north-west of Afghanistan – no doubt overshadowed by the car-bomb attack on the Indian Embassy in Kabul – villagers in Qayser district used “a machine gun, sticks and stones” to chase away Taliban members, killing, in the process, the shadow-governor for Faryab province. The militants had tried to abduct […]

July 8, 2008

15 months of reporting

[video:youtube:N3_ZKBwv3V0] Mike Boettcher, ex-CNN, NBC, Peabody award winning journalist, is heading to Iraq and Afghanistan to report on the soldier’s stories. He’ll be out there for 15 months and will file all his work to the web on a site called NoIgnoring. He says he’ll make all the material free for news networks to use […]