Hard News by Russell Brown


War, now and then

We look at wars of the past and of the present in next week's Media7, which screens the day after Anzac Day.

First up will be a familiar figure for Media7 viewers, Jon Stephenson, who is just back in the country on a break from working as McClatchy Newspapers' correspondent in Kabul. He was the only western journalist at the scene when a high-level Afghan delegation was attacked during a visit to Najiban, where 16 local people had been killed by a rogue US soldier.

For the first time, he's working with the support that other correspondents take for granted -- a driver, translator and fixer -- and he seems to be greatly enjoying that fact. McClatchy, which has been notable for the independence of its service from war zones, also provides stories for the military newspaper Star and Stripes. And the company has also allowed Jon to continue to develop the stories he presented in last year's Eyes Wide Shut feature for Metro.

With yet another public image disaster for US forces in Afghanistan unfolding this week and putting pressure on talks around a Nato withdrawal, I'm sure we'll have plenty to talk about.


My other guest will be Massey University's Glynn Harper, who was last year appointed the lead on the Centenary History of New Zealand and the First World War project, which will eventually extend to nine published volumes.

If you'd like to come to the recording, do note that it's on Monday, next week, on account of the holiday. The times are the same: come along between 5.15 and 5.40pm, to the Victoria Street entrance of TVNZ.

In the meantime, it is worth noting that NZ On Screen has extended its Anzac Day Collection this year. The new additions include the 2005 documentary Sedition - The Suppression of Dissent in World War II New Zealand. New wartime laws affected media coverage or even discussion of pacifism. It's available for viewing in full. Lest we, you know, forget:

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