By: Sonya Moore
The Discovery Times Channel will air “Reporters at War,” a four-part series on the history of journalism during war starting tonight, Jan. 6. Jon Blair, the executive producer for the series and also a veteran war correspondent, said the idea for the special was conceived before the recent Iraq conflict, but that war made the issue more pertinent.
The series, which will air each Tuesday this month at 8 p.m. EST, covers journalism in wars of the past 150 years, the high price that many war correspondents pay, technological developments that change how journalists report from the frontlines, and issues the media face in their relationship with the military.
The series will provide a “look back at some of the things that dominate the history of war reporting,” Blair told E&P, including the Civil War, both World Wars and the Falklands War, while providing context for the recent war in Iraq.
Prominent U.S. journalists such as Walter Cronkite, Bob Simon, Morley Safer and John Burns and British reporters Sir Max Hastings, Kate Adie and Michael Bell are among the many who appear in the series to provide personal details of what it was like reporting from the frontlines. “It’s very much not a dry history,” Blair said. “I am not a great respecter of that sort of approach.”
He described the special as a “chance for the public” to eavesdrop on the types of stories that “reporters share late at night over the 76th drink.” Blair said “Reporters at War” also deals with controversial issues that arise from war coverage such as censorship and control, whether the public really knows what war is like –and if reporters can provide an accurate point of view. “Journalists choose to go to war,” Blair said in describing them as voluntary eyewitnesses to the images and effects of bloody conflicts.