Get Task & Purpose in your inbox
'It's A Lottery Out There': T&P Grills The Experts On War Reporting
"You need about a hundred different lenses to begin to understand conflict," says New York Times reporter, veteran war correspondent, and former Marine C.J. Chivers. "When people tell me they read one particular writer or one particular publication, I think in my head, 'Well, you’re kind of fucked.' It’s not enough. Get out of your box."
On May 22, Task & Purpose gathered three accomplished war correspondents with diverse backgrounds at Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism to talk about the state of war reporting, 16 years into the "long war." They included:
- C.J. Chivers, whose long investigation into one Marine's tortured postwar transition earned a Pulitzer Prize this spring;
- Anand Gopal, who documented his encounters with Taliban fighters and everyday Afghans in the award-winning book "No Good Men Among the Living";
- Anna Therese Day, who's confronted al Qaeda and ISIS fighters head-on and whose close-up reporting on the Arab Spring got her jailed by Bahraini authorities in 2012.
Between them, they've covered conflicts in at least 20 countries over the past decade and a half.
From gearing up and assessing risks to fighting dubious sources and doubtful editors, T&P; moderated a lively conversation on downrange reporting that's sure to resonate with veterans and journalists alike. Watch the full panel discussion above, as well as some shorter highlights as they become available below.
The Navy relieved a decorated explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) officer on Thursday due to a loss of confidence in his ability to command, the Navy announced on Friday.
Former Defense Secretary James Mattis, who led a Marine task force to Afghanistan shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, said the Washington Post's recent reporting about the U.S. government's pattern of lies about the war over the last two decades is not "revelatory."
Mattis, who was interviewed by the Washington Post's David Ignatius on Friday, also said he does not believe the U.S. government made any efforts to hide the true situation in Afghanistan and he argued the war has not been in vain.
Here are 10 key quotes from Mattis regarding the Washington Post's reporting in the 'Afghanistan Papers.'
Get ready for some gun-fu: Both 'John Wick 4' and 'Matrix 4' will be premiering on the same day in 2021
The Taliban may not have breached the walls of Bagram, but they damaged the hell out of its main passenger terminal
Blasts from Taliban car bombs outside of Bagram Airfield on Wednesday caused extensive damage to the base's passenger terminal, new pictures released by the 45th Expeditionary Wing show.
The pictures, which are part of a photo essay called "Bagram stands fast," were posted on the Defense Visual Information Distribution Service's website on Thursday.
Editor's Note: The following is an op-ed. The opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Task & Purpose.
Shortly after seven sailors died aboard USS Fitzgerald when she collided with a merchant ship off Japan in 2017, I wrote that the Fitzgerald's watch team could have been mine. My ship had once had a close call with me on watch, and I had attempted to explain how such a thing could happen. "Operating ships at sea is hard, and dangerous. Stand enough watches, and you'll have close calls," I wrote at the time. "When the Fitzgerald's investigation comes out, I, for one, will likely be forgiving."
So, am I forgiving? Yes — for some.