Palgrave Macmillan 2012
One of the hardest jobs in journalism is making sense of conflict. Seeing through the fog of war and through what each side wants you to report is fantastically difficult, before you come across issues such as access, logistics, safety and context.
James Rodgers has a deep understanding of why this is so hard because for many years (Reuters TV and BBC) he was one of the journalists who spent time in conflict zones from Chechnya and Iraq to Georgia and Gaza. As a result his book Reporting Conflict (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012) draws upon his own personal experiences as well his understanding of the issues involved, and the roles that various different types of reporter and journalist can play for different organisations and in very different circumstances.
The result is a slim but disarmingly complete and clear book that deals with most of the big issues facing reporters in times of conflict, from the explosion of different technologies to the constraints imposed by practices such as embedding journalists with armed forces. It’s an important, clear and informed contribution to a debate that will continue as media organisations change and technologies evolve, and I thoroughly recommend getting hold of a copy. But first, of course, have a listen to my interview with James.
PS. Here is the link to James’ BBC radio documentary about the ‘PR battle for the Caucasus’ (and for those who are interested in the region here is also a link to my own BBC radio documentary looking at the symbolic role that wine played in relations between Russia and Georgia).
James’ Twitter feed is @jmacrodgers; mine is @npw99.