Afghanistan

May 5, 2008

Mark Urban’s brush with a suicide bomber

Mark Urban talks on the BBC Radio From our own correspondent programme about how he came to meet a suicide bomber in Afghanistan, When we arranged to meet a suicide bomber, we did not expect one wearing his bomb vest, all set to blow himself up outside the building in Kabul where we were filming. […]


April 28, 2008

Back in Afghanistan

Frontline Club member John D. McHugh is back in Afghanistan. As revealed on this blog a wee while back, he is working for The Guardian. He’ll be producing six films, taking pictures, writing stories and updating his blog. To kick things off, the newspaper has published edited highlights from his blog, along with pictures and […]


April 23, 2008

Been in Afghanistan too long?

[video:youtube:Jev5YJWJv0o] Michael Tomberlin lists ten telltale warning signs you should watch out for if you think you’ve been in Afghanistan too long. The number one reason, he says, is when you find yourself doing something like the above video… But I quite liked reason number 9, You think a burqa is an appropriate anniversary gift. […]


April 18, 2008

John D McHugh blogging from Afghanistan

Frontline Club member John D McHugh is heading back to Afghanistan. This will be the third April he’s spent over there. The first almost killed him, the second went an awful lot smoother. He talked at length about his first trip, along with his photographs at the club in 2007. This time John has a […]


April 7, 2008

Kabul street named after journalist

Today the authorities in Kabul named a street in the Afghan capital after the local journalist Ajmal Naqshbandi. The 20 year old journalist was beheaded by the Taliban in April 2007. It is the first street named after a journalist killed in Afghanistan, While unveiling the plaque of the avenue, President of the Afghanistan National […]


March 24, 2008

Talking with the Taliban

The Globe & Mail’s Graeme Smith puts together an in depth multimedia production called Talking with the Taliban for Canada’s biggest newspaper. The piece includes 42 unedited interviews with Taliban fighters all of whom were asked the same set of questions by a researcher the newspaper sent to talk with the Taliban. Here are the […]


March 24, 2008

Getting the story – Kabul

Writing on the Reuters photographer’s blog Ahmad Masood gives a great wee bit of insight into the working life of a photographer on the Kabul beat and the process he goes through when responding to a suspected bomb, I always call another photographer, or the Reuters Television producer, to double check, and I hate to […]


March 17, 2008

Carsten Thomassen hearing opens

The court hearing into the death of Norwegian journalist Carsten Thomassen opened last week. Thomassen died of injuries he received during an attack at Serena hotel in Kabul in January. Opening the hearing Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Stoere admitted the Foreign Office did not have any emergency plans for the type of attack, Stoere said […]


March 10, 2008

“Like being in the mouth of a tuba”

In a series of behind the scenes films ITV’s Mark Austin and Phil Reay Smith describe life working as reporters in Helmand province, Afghanistan. And by the looks of things it’s all rather snug. As Mark says, “It’s the best food in terms of being in a theatre of war that I’ve ever tasted.” I […]


March 5, 2008

Kidnap victim John Martinkus back in Afghanistan

SBS Dateline Video Journalist John Martinkus returns to Afghanistan to report on his time spent travelling with the US 82nd Airborne in Afghanistan. John was kidnapped in 2004, where he was also embedded with US forces. At the time the BBC reported that Google saved him when his captors said they checked Google to confirm […]


March 5, 2008

News gathering in Afghanistan

[video:youtube:rPaTgRPr4O4] Here’s a brief video of how a number of Afghanistan based journalists followed a breaking story from their bases in Kabul. How good stringers and local knowledge are invaluable and the value of input from military sources, Veteran reporter and filmmaker Bill Gentile profiles noted journalists from The New York Times, the BBC, Time, […]


March 3, 2008

From the NATO Review

I’ve cross-posted this on the Frontline blog. Vaughan features in an article in the latest edition of NATO Review. Vaughan discusses how he got into journalism, military minders and the importance of independent reporting, Managing correspondents in the field has become very much more complex, not least through the expansion in the size of the […]


February 29, 2008

Harrystan raises media debate

Writing on the BBC Editor’s blog about the recent deployment of Prince Harry to Afghanistan to fight the Taliban, Jon Williams, says When the Ministry of Defence approached the BBC – along with other parts of the UK media – to ask us not to tell our audiences about a possible deployment of Prince Harry […]


February 27, 2008

Pakistani Death Ray

Hilarious piece of Kabul gossip from Jean MacKenzie on the Institute of war and peace reporting blog. It appears the strength of rumour in Kabul rivals the strength of American firepower. And whatever you do, watch out for those incoming Pakistani death rays when you’re answering the phone, My favorite anecdote is the Pakistani Death […]


February 19, 2008

The Talib who turned

There was little in the dismal reception room to dispel the all-pervading cold of the snow outside. Mice scurried among the relics of half-eaten food on plates scattered around an unlit wood-burning stove. Apart from a few blankets and a couple of kalashnikovs the space was bare. Perhaps I had expected finer trappings for Musa […]


February 15, 2008

Tim Hetherington talks

Frontline Club founding member and this year’s World Press Photo of the year award winner, Tim Hetherington, is in conversation with Der Spiegel this week, It was Hetherington’s third tour there with US forces. The British photographer was once again traveling with the 2nd Platoon of Battle Company, part of the 2nd Battalion, 503rd Infantry […]


February 14, 2008

The Carsten Thomassen Kabul library

A new library in Kabul is to be named after the journalist Carsten Thomassen who was shot dead during an attack on the Serena Hotel in the Afghan capital in January, The Afghan Minister of Education has announced that the new library at the National Institute for Leadership and Adminstration will be named after Thomassen. […]


February 12, 2008

Andy McNab on Kabul hotels

[video:youtube:2iltEbDjM_M] Dominic Medley, a frequent visitor to Gandamack Lodge in Kabul and a founding member of the Frontline club, emails to tell me popular war novelist and ex-SAS man Andy McNab writes about the hotel scene in Kabul in his latest book, Crossfire. The author looks favorably upon the Gandamack lodge. Here are Dominic’s snippets […]


February 12, 2008

“NATO cannot advance”

Channel 4’s Alex Thomson and cameraman Stuart Webb report from Sangin valley in Afghanistan on an embed with British forces, Chief Correspondent Alex Thomson accompanied the marines up the Sangin valley to the Kajaki Dam. It was an assault on Taliban forces dug-in amongst the hills and valleys. A mission that ended in a bloody […]


February 1, 2008

Help save Pervez Kambaksh

Blogging at The Guardian, Roy Greenslade points to a petition at The Independent newspaper to help save the journalist Pervez Kambaksh who has been sentenced to death in Kabul. His “crime” was something I do every single day and don’t give a second thought to – downloading material from the internet. Roy adds, I have […]


January 29, 2008

A soldier in Helmand

I’m very pleased to announce the latest addition to the From the Frontline blog stable – the Soldier’s Blog. This is the blog of an anonymous Danish soldier about to deploy to Helmand province in Afghanistan. He’ll be blogging about the daily life of a soldier before and during deployment. He hopes to be able […]


January 29, 2008

The Kabul yeti

Jean MacKenzie at the Institute of War and Peace Reporting looks forward to heading down to Helmand for one reason and one reason alone – the weather, You know you’ve hit rock bottom when a trip to Helmand is a step up. But as I boarded the little Beechcraft this morning and set off from […]


January 28, 2008

Media Guardian Innovation Awards

Stepping in for Vaughan here…. and have crossposted on the Frontline blog…. Here’s some great news. Club founder and journalist whizz of the old school, Vaughan Smith, is up for a gong at the inaugural Media Guardian Innovation Awards, or MEGAs, for his live blogging, video reports, twittering and picture taking from the frontline on […]


January 24, 2008

Carsten Thomassen laid to rest

Norwegians said a final farewell to the journalist Carsten Thomassen today. He was murdered, along with six others, at the Serena hotel in Kabul last week. The Norwegian Foreign minister, Jonas Gahr Støre, who was also in the Serena when Thomassen was killed spoke at the funeral, “Carsten was living proof that a free press […]


January 23, 2008

Pizza in Kabul

Kabul hillside, originally uploaded by zedwards. Jean Mackenzie at the Institute for War and Peace reporting tells us how easy it is these days to grab a pizza in Kabul, Friday night at Boccacio, formerly known as Villa Villebita. Remember the old days? You would show up, desperate for the best pizza in town, a […]


January 22, 2008

Enjoy your stay

J. Malcolm Garcia writes a lengthy piece in the Virginia Quarterly Review about his recent return to Afghanistan and his impressions since he was last there in October, 2004. The Spin Ghar hotel in Jalalabad, a popular hangout for ex-Taliban commanders, offered a warm welcome.


January 15, 2008

Carsten Thomassen killed at the Serena

The gunfire and bomb blasts that rocked the only luxury hotel in Kabul yesterday killed Norwegian journalist Carsten Thomassen. He wrote for the Oslo newspaper Dagbladet. He was reporting on the visit of Jonas Gahr Støre, the Norwegian Foreign Minister. The International federation of Journalists condemns the attack, “This attack shows that Afghanistan is one […]


January 14, 2008

4 million bullets

The Ministry of Defence revises original figures of bullets used by British troops in Helmand province, Afghanistan. The real number, circa-4 million bullets, is almost double the original estimate, “These new figures illustrate the intensity of fighting our troops face. It does call into question Des Browne’s judgment that the Taliban poses no strategic threat […]


January 8, 2008

Ross Kemp in Helmand

Ex-soap star Ross Kemp heads to Helmand in a new five-part series. The Guardian has a trailer for the series and background on Organ Grinder, “During one engagement between B Company and the Taliban, we were pinned down by enemy fire in open ground,” he says. “Bullets fizzed inches from our heads, hitting the ground […]


December 18, 2007

John D. McHugh on the BBC

Frontline club member, photographer, occasional club speaker and sniper bullet survivor John D.McHugh is back in Afghanistan and he’s interviewed about his return on this week’s BBC Radio Pods & Blogs show. You can listen to the show here or, go one better, and subscribe to the excellent podcast. The show has some Frontline club […]