January 31, 2008

A night on the road

The truck’s ‘extrication kit’ included shovels and a jack to deal with the mud; tools and spares for the Japanese diesel engine; and documents, cigarettes and whisky to ease our way through military checkpoints. We flew an identifying flag and had called the relevant field commanders before leaving. We were carrying supplies for a hospital […]

January 31, 2008

Think Balkans, not Rwanda

Picture originaly uploaded by DEMOSH The last thing a massive news organisation should do is inflame an already volatile situation by using inflamatory words and phrases with deep historical significance. This is, I hope, why almost all of the mainstream media reporting on the current situation in Kenya has tended to steer clear of the […]

January 29, 2008

Bleasdale on the BBC

Frontline member and photojournalist, Marcus Bleasdale, is interviewed by Chris Vallance from BBC Radio 5 Live’s Pods and blogs show. You can listen the download here. Marcus talks about his work in the Democratic Republic of Congo and his use of multimedia. His is the second interview slot on the show. Incidentally, Chris showed up […]

January 28, 2008

Close up of a peace agreement

Choice observations upon examination of the recent peace agreement in eastern Congo: Percentage of signatories using green pens: 0.05 Missing from the multimedia archives: audio file of the collective sigh of relief by 1,200 delegates when they heard, after several hours of speculation-filled delay, that the document had been signed. Number of days from signature […]

January 23, 2008

Kenyan crackdown

Shashank Bengali works for McClatchy newspapers and is based in Nairobi. He blogged about recent events in Kenya and took a number of snaps of the local media on the job recording what was happening. Here’s the clip for the snap above, Photog gets a closeup of the police van that was firing teargas and […]

January 21, 2008

Can compromises bring peace at last?

Did you know that eastern Congo gets struck by lightning more often than anywhere else in the world? It’s usually preferable to agree some sort of ceasefire before holding formal talks. Suspending hostilities – however temporarily – is the polite thing to do. It builds confidence, sets the tone, and helps the concentration. But no […]

January 18, 2008

Life imitating journalists

Rob Crilly in Kenya wins my vote for snap of the week. Rob, when you gonna start blogging at Fromthefrontline… ???

January 18, 2008

Jean-Paul Ney arrested and charged

The French photojournalist Jean-Paul Ney who was detained on December 27, 2007 outside the headquarters of the national TV station in the Ivory Coast has been arrested and charged along with nine others, The 10 are accused of conspiracy against the state, belonging to an armed group, and threatening public safety and state security, said […]

January 17, 2008

Journalist arrested in Somalia

Reporters Without Borders reports that Ayanle Hussein Abdi, a stringer with the BBC Somali service, was arrested yesterday in Beletwein in the central region of Hiran. There has been no explanation for the arrest, “The very few journalists who continue to work in Somalia at risk of their lives are easy prey,” [said Reporters Without […]

January 16, 2008

From Mogadishu

[video:brightcove:1378319364] David Axe, of the War is Boring blog, continues his Somalia coverage with a short film he shot for World Politics Review in December, 2007. Part two follows shortly.

January 15, 2008

Simpson gets a makeover

Frontline club member and BBC World Affairs Editor John Simpson is in Zimbabwe filing live reports for the BBC News at Ten. No mean feat for one of Britain’s most recognizable reporters in one of the world’s least BBC-friendly spots, Back in London a make-up artist fitted me out with a beard, to make me […]

January 11, 2008

Journalist faces death penalty

The British Foreign Secretary is facing pressure to help secure the release of a French-British journalist in Niger who faces the death penalty. The Press Association has more, Freelance photo-journalist Thomas Dandois was arrested along with two colleagues on a reporting trip for TV station ARTE on December 17. The 33-year-old, who holds a British […]

January 9, 2008

Journalist killed in Niger

Within one minute of writing the previous post about journalist fatalities in 2007, we learn that Niger journalist and radio station director Abdou Mahaman has been killed by a landmine in the capital Niamey, He is the third civilian to die in explosions in the south since December, when the government accused Tuareg-led rebels of […]

January 8, 2008

For journalism

BBC World Service, Deutsche Welle, Radio France Internationale, Radio Netherlands Worldwide and the Voice Of America issue “an unprecedented joint resolution denouncing what they termed growing trends towards media restrictions and attacks on journalists in many of the countries to which they broadcast.” The heads of five of the largest international broadcasters have called upon […]

January 7, 2008

Somali journalist arrested

Freelance journalist Idle Moallim based in the port city of Bossaso in Somalia has been arrested by police in the northern Puntland region while working on a human trafficking story. The arrest comes less than a month after French journalist Gwen Le Gouil was kidnapped while working on another human trafficking story. Le Gouil was […]

November 29, 2007

Marcus Bleasdale back from Congo

Frontline Club member Marcus Bleasdale has spent the best part of the last decade in and out of Congo taking photographs of the ongoing conflict. As well as contributing to newspapers and magazines, Marcus documented his work in the book One hundred years of darkness. The book was recognised in the best photojournalism books of […]

November 21, 2007

David Axe heads to Mogadishu

David Axe is a journalist and cartoonist and he blogs at the oddly titled War is boring. He’s just arrived in Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia, to report on the “insurgency” and the work of the African Union. I fired off a few questions to David about his assignment in Somalia and how he intends […]

November 19, 2007

“Working in Somalia is a death sentence”

Following the shutdown of three popular radio stations in Somalia in recent weeks, freelance photojournalist Salah Mohammed Adde was arrested on 15 November by plain clothes officers at the Banadir Football Stadium in north Mogadishu. According to IFEX, Salah was taking pictures of the demonstrators, who were expressing support for security operations carried out by […]

October 5, 2007

Behind the scenes – Shake hands with the devil

Following on from this post, I contacted Zimbabwe based Frontline Club member Robert Adams through the Frontline network. I wanted to ask him about the filming of the behind the scenes documentary that will accompany the film based on Lt. Gen. Roméo Dallaire’s book, Shake hands with the devil, about the 1994 Rwandan genocide. Where […]

October 3, 2007

Shake hands with the devil

Over on the Frontline Network, Zimbabwe based Robert Adams tells us about a film he helped make about the story behind the filming of Shake hands with the devil – a film based on the book by Lt. Gen. Roméo Dallaire. Robert tells us, I worked on a movie in rwanda last year – making […]

September 24, 2007

Journalists in Congo

A great essay from Congolese journalist Fidel Bafilemba Bienda about the ongoing situation in Congo, western media’s lack of interest, UN “peacekeeping” and the deaths of local journalists, …I wish we would get more journalists to come here and see for themselves. But as fighting continues and innocent people die, the countries that should be […]

September 24, 2007

Austin to Africa

ITV ups the African ante this week as news presenter Mark Austin returns to the region to take up residence on the banks of the Limpopo river in easy striking distance of Zimbabwe, “By sending our top presenter undercover and anchoring our main bulletins on location this week, we are hoping to focus the news […]

September 20, 2007

Air Zimbabwe

Gordon Brown’s not happy about Robert Mugabe’s possible appearance at the Euro/Affro summit in Lisbon in December. Not Sure Mugabe will be too chuffed about it either, especially if he has to fly with his nation’s airline.

September 20, 2007


The Economist has a man – or is it a woman? who knows in bylineless world – in Zimbabwe and they’re writing a diary, at least this week they are, The contact is late, he does not pick up his phone, and night has fallen. I feel increasingly uncomfortable. Something is wrong. After a while, […]

September 5, 2007

Andrew Mwenda at TED

Over on the excellent TED Talks Blog Ugandan journalist Andrew Mwenda gives a provocative speech on how the media should focus less on the bad news coming out of the continent and more on the good and how the answer to Africa’s problems is not more aid. As Ethan Zuckerman notes, The talk so incensed […]