Journalists and Commanders: Reporting in times of war, tensions and crises

1st March

Click here to Register by Monday, 22 February 2016

Registration fee: £25.00

Confirmed speakers include

  • Jamie Shea (NATO)
  • Richard Norton-Taylor (The Guardian)
  • Ricardo Gutierez (ULB/European Federation of Journalists)
  • Marie-Soleil Frère (ULB)
  • Martin Plaut, Senior Research Fellow ICWS
  • Keith Somerville,  Institute of Commonwealth Studies and Centre for Journalism, University of Kent.

Convenor: Dr Linda Risso, Department of History, University of Reading Email:

Gathering practitioners and experts in the field, this workshop examines the relationship between journalists and the military at times of war, peace-building operations, crisis-management and terrorism. It discusses the organisational and logistical challenges as well as the moral and ethical implications of working together. At times of war and crisis, concerns about the safety of all people involved merge with the need to ensure that the information gathered is reliable and accurate. At the same time, the details passed on to the media must not jeopardise action in the field, undermine national security or affect action on the ground.

Using examples drawn from the 20th and 21st century, the participants examine key questions:

  • What are strategic, logistic and ethical considerations used to decide the priority between accurate reporting, military strategy and action on the ground?
  • Is it a matter of cooperation, collaboration or competition?
  • What are the long-term implications of such close working relations for both sides?
  • What is the risk for journalists to become tools in the hands of the military?
  • How often does reporting action mean losing sight of context and cultural understanding?

The workshop is organised to leave ample room for debate and for the exchange of ideas with all participants. Postgraduate students are particularly welcome.