Author Topic: CBC Reporter, Nabbed in AFG Four Weeks Ago, Released  (Read 8069 times)

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CBC Reporter, Nabbed in AFG Four Weeks Ago, Released
« on: November 08, 2008, 19:23:03 »
Glad to hear she's OK.  Highlights mine, shared in accordance with the "fair dealing" provisions, Section 29, of the Copyright Act.

Abducted CBC journalist released in Afghanistan
CBC.ca, 8 Nov 08
Article link

CBC journalist Mellissa Fung was released into the custody of Canadian officials in Kabul on Saturday, four weeks after she was abducted.

Fung was taken by armed men who approached her in a refugee camp on the outskirts of Kabul on Oct. 12. The journalist, who was stationed at the NATO military base in Kandahar but was visiting the Kabul-area camp to report on a story, was then taken to the mountains west of the Afghan capital.

Fung, normally based in Regina, was on her second assignment to Afghanistan.

As news of her release emerged on Saturday, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation reported that she was in good health and undergoing a medical examination.

News of the abduction had been kept secret over concerns about her safety.

"In the interest of Mellissa's safety and that of other working journalists in the region, on the advice of security experts, we made the decision to ask media colleagues not to publish news of her abduction," CBC News publisher John Cruickshank said. "All of the efforts made by the security experts were focused on Mellissa’s safe and timely release."


"Fung's family was in daily contact with the team at CBC that was trying to negotiate this and help this go forward to the successful conclusion," said CBC journalist Susan Ormiston, who has also filed stories from Afghanistan.

Ormiston said several other reporters have gone into the same camp where Fung was taken. Fung was visiting the camp for internally displaced people to report on refugees who have streamed back into Afghanistan from Pakistan and Iran.

"It's a difficult situation. It's a management of risk all the time, and it's something that we journalists do on a regular basis," she said ....

More on link

More coverage from around the world here

Edited to add link to more coverage, correct title
« Last Edit: November 08, 2008, 19:53:24 by milnews.ca »
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Re: CBC Reporter, Nabbed in Kabul Four Weeks Ago, Released
« Reply #1 on: November 08, 2008, 19:28:25 »
I listened on the way in tonight as CBC radio thought this was worthy of almost the whole 6:00 news segment and it struck me as so hypocritical of a news organization that regularly goes to court to identify crown witnesses, police sources and the like.

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Re: CBC Reporter, Nabbed in Kabul Four Weeks Ago, Released
« Reply #2 on: November 08, 2008, 19:38:42 »
Apart from Bruce's point, it would be interesting how much CBC or other media report on the nature of the "security experts" they consulted.

More, from Agence France-Presse
Quote
.... Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper said that no ransom had been paid to secure her freedom.  "No ransom was paid. It's the government's policy not to pay ransoms and all policies were fully respected," he told a press conference.  Harper said "security issues surrounding this case" kept him from providing details of Fung's case, but said "there were hundreds and hundreds of people involved in her release." ....

Edited to add more from other media outlets/chains...
« Last Edit: November 08, 2008, 19:52:36 by milnews.ca »
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Offline twistedcables

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Canadian Journalist kidnapped FREED
« Reply #3 on: November 09, 2008, 01:33:56 »
Kudos to those unknown, who help get stuff like this done.   :salute: :cdn:


By Bill Graveland, The Canadian Press
ADVERTISEMENT

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan - On Sunday, Oct. 12, half a world away from where Canadian families were enjoying the Thanksgiving holiday, a nightmare was unfolding for Mellissa Fung.

The CBC News reporter, on her second tour of duty in Afghanistan, was visiting a UN refugee camp outside the Afghan capital of Kabul - a respite, say some who have been there, from the ever-present dangers of Kandahar - when she was abducted.

On Saturday, after 28 days of captivity, the nightmare ended.

Fung, 35, was freed Saturday and contacted her parents in Vancouver before letting officials with the Canadian Forces and the Canadian embassy in Kabul know she'd been released.

Pointed questions about the crisis - who was responsible, whether any demands were made or met, and how precisely Fung's freedom was restored - went unanswered Saturday by officials who chose, for security reasons, to keep details to a minimum.

CBC News publisher John Cruickshank, Fung's parents and Prime Minister Stephen Harper were among the few people who had a chance to speak to the reporter after her release.

"She sounded terrific," a visibly elated Cruickshank told a news conference in Toronto.

"She said she hadn't been harmed in any way, and she said to us she was sorry for all the trouble she caused."

News of Fung's release came as a surprise to most Canadians, considering they had no idea she'd even been kidnapped.

That's because in an effort to preserve her personal safety and maximize the chances of securing her safe release, media outlets across Canada and around the world temporarily agreed not to publish details of her ordeal.

"If there's a question of harm coming to a victim of crime, it's not our role to intensify that harm," Cruickshank said of the decision to keep the story under wraps.

"If there's a compelling reason to protect the victims of crime, we will do that."

Harper, too, thanked "members of the press, who - understanding the grave risk to Ms. Fung's life - have refrained from reporting this story."

Mellissa's mother Joyce was at church Saturday, praying for her daughter's safe return, and so missed the phone call informing her that her prayers had been answered. Her husband, Kellog, did not.

"When I got home, Kellog said to me, 'Oh, I got a call,"' Joyce Fung recalled. "I said, 'From whom?"'

"'From our daughter!"'

The veteran CBC reporter has the presence of mind and experience to deal with a situation such as the one she's been in the past month, her mother added.

"She's a very calm and collected person. She can handle stressful situations much better than her parents, actually."

Did her mother's instincts tell her all along Mellissa would eventually be set free? "In my heart of hearts, yes."

Cruickshank was effusive in his praise for the "hundreds" of people - CBC and federal government officials, as well as countless Afghan government officials, he said - who worked tirelessly over the last month to secure Fung's safe release.

On Oct. 12, Harper was on board his campaign plane and in the final throes of a hard-fought bid for re-election when he learned of Fung's kidnapping.

On Saturday, he expressed gratitude to Afghan President Hamid Karzai and the hundreds of government officials in both Kabul and Ottawa for their effort in helping to secure Fung's freedom.

"This is wonderful news for her family, her colleagues and all Canadians," Harper said. "Thanks to all those individuals here in Canada and in Afghanistan who worked so tirelessly to ensure this outcome."

Harper said Fung sounded "in remarkably good spirits, under the circumstances," and "wishes to convey to all her friends and colleagues that she is OK."

Fung is currently at the Canadian embassy in Kabul, but "plans are being made to reunite Mellissa with her family as soon as possible," Cruickshank said.

Cruickshank said the CBC will review its training and safety procedures for its journalists who work abroad, but the network's mission to report from the world's danger zones will not change.

"We know the risks of covering conflict," he said. "Nothing will keep us from this responsibility."

And in a message to those responsible for Fung's captivity, he added: "We will not be threatened or bullied from that mission."

Adam Khan Serat, spokesman for the provincial governor in Afghanistan's Wardak province, said the journalist was freed after tribal elders and provincial council members negotiated her release, The Associated Press reported.

It was unclear Saturday what demands Fung's kidnappers had made, but "a ransom was not paid," Harper said.

Fung is the second abducted female journalist to be released in two days. On Friday, a Dutch journalist kidnapped just outside Kabul was freed unharmed after a week in captivity.

Fung's abductors were believed to be criminals, not Taliban insurgents.

Fung had been in Afghanistan for several weeks and worked in Kandahar before making a trip to Kabul on her own. Normally based in Regina, she was on her second reporting assignment in Afghanistan when she was taken.

Kidnappings are a common crime in Afghanistan, most often committed against local civilians held for ransom. In August, Canadian freelance journalist Amanda Lindhout was kidnapped in Somalia.
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Re: CBC Reporter, Nabbed in AFG Four Weeks Ago, Released
« Reply #4 on: November 09, 2008, 04:52:48 »
And a little something extra from some AFG media and Canadian Press - highlights mine - shared with the usual disclaimer.  A big BZ to those involved.   :salute:

Canadian raid to free abducted journalist planned, aborted: security source
Canadian Press, 8 Nov 08
Article link

Three days after CBC reporter Mellissa Fung was kidnapped, Canadian intelligence agents and elite commandos were confident they knew where she was being held and planned a rescue.

But as so often happens in clandestine operations, the plan to free the Canadian journalist in a lightning raid went awry, a senior intelligence source told The Canadian Press.

U.S. Special Forces conducted their own, separate hostage rescue in roughly the same area west of the Afghan capital on the night of Oct. 15 (link to 22 Oct 08 AP story), as a Canadian commando team was laying its plans to go after Fung.

"It stirred up a real hornet's nest and we thought afterwards that they had probably moved her," said the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

The disclosure provided a rare glimpse behind the scenes at the extraordinary efforts the Canadian military, intelligence officers and diplomats on the ground went to in order to rescue Fung.

For days after the American raid, the region buzzed with outraged militants whose ground fire brought down a U.S. helicopter.

In the end, it appears Afghan officials were able to negotiate Fung's release through local tribal elders in Wardak province, a mostly lawless region of snow-capped mountain creases west of Kabul.

Almost from the outset, Canadian military and intelligence officers were convinced Fung was being held in the region, a favourite hideout for the Taliban as well as kidnappers and bandits who prey upon travellers along the Kabul-to-Kandahar highway.

Security and defence officials refused to discuss further details saying they did not want to compromise military tactics. But it is a known fact that NATO has sophisticated eavesdropping techniques.

The source said security authorities were confident that Fung's captors belonged to the "criminal entrepreneur class" that has arisen in Afghanistan over the last five years, and not the Taliban.

(....)

It is known that a team of Canada's ultra-secret JTF-2 commandos, who were operating in Afghanistan and due to be rotated home when the kidnapping happened, were ordered to remain and assist.

(....)

Fung was kidnapped two days before the Canadian federal election after visiting a refugee camp in the Qambar district, on the outskirts of Kabul.

She had been in the area apparently at the invitation of village elders, said officials with the Afghan Interior Ministry.




Freed Canadian 'victim of own stupidity'
Journalist 'ignored' security advice to report on plight of refugees

Quqnoos.com, 9 Nov 08
Article link

A female Canadian journalist was released last night after a month in captivity.

Three men were arrested in connection with the kidnapping. It is unclear if they were affiliated with any criminal or terrorist organization, though the Taliban have denied involvement in the incident.

The reporter, named as Melissa Fung, 35, was working on a story on refugees in the Qargha area west of Kabul, when she was abducted on October 12. She was working for the Canadian Broadcast Corporation (CBC).

She was released unharmed after spending four weeks in a well, according to Canadian embassy staff.

The Canadian prime minister, Stephen Harper, thanked President Karzai and his government for their help. “I spoke to the president immediately after the abduction. His government delivered,” Mr. Harper said.

Tribal elders helped negotiate Fung’s release, according to officials in neighbouring Wardak province, where Fung is believed to have been held. The Canadian government said no ransom had been paid to secure Fung’s freedom.

“This is a great relief for Canadians and Afghans,” said Afghanistan’s Ambassador to Canada Omar Samad.

“We are very, very relieved,” said Jamie Purdon, director of news gathering for CBC.

CBC requested an international news blackout after Fung was taken hostage.

Fung was reporting on the condition of refugees in a camp west of the capital. A security source told Quqnoos that she was “100%” advised by security officials not to go to the camp. Another official said Fung’s kidnap was the result of “gross negligence”.

“She made a calculated risk, it didn’t pay off but everyone is obviously very happy that she made it out,” said another security source.

Reports indicate that Fung was taken on her second consecutive trip to the camp.
....



Blackout on Canadian reporter's kidnapping posed dilemma for media
Canadian Press, 8 Nov 08
Article link

A Canadian journalist was kidnapped a month ago but major western news organizations agreed to a news blackout until Saturday, when CBC reporter Mellissa Fung was finally released.

The decision to hold off on reporting about the abduction in Afghanistan presented an ethical dilemma for the news media.

Journalists and their managers alike went though much soul-searching during the weeks of Fung's captivity over what's more important - the safety of the kidnap victim or the free flow of information.

Indeed, journalists would normally be taken to task for suppressing information and not reporting on a major story, acknowledged John Cruickshank, the publisher of CBC News.

"Refusing to report a story is one of the most difficult and unnatural decisions that any journalist faces," Cruickshank told a news conference in Toronto.

But he strongly defended the CBC's decision to appeal to other media organizations for a news blackout.

"It's unlikely that I'd be briefing you today with this delightful news of Mellissa's safe release if it had not been for the co-operation of news organizations around the world," he said.

"Our journalistic standards are clear. The first priority is the safety of the victim."

Cruickshank said the difficult choice of refraining from reporting is "unavoidable" when public scrutiny can "directly imperil the safety of an innocent victim of a crime such as this."

"We must put the safety of the victim ahead of our normal instinct for full transparency and disclosure."
....

More on link

edited to add additional material from CP
« Last Edit: November 09, 2008, 05:19:31 by milnews.ca »
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Offline Thucydides

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Re: CBC Reporter, Nabbed in AFG Four Weeks Ago, Released
« Reply #5 on: November 09, 2008, 20:33:16 »
While I am glad the reporter was released and is now safe, watching a news conference about this struck me as being grade A hypocrisy on the part of the CBC. As anyone who  watches the news knows, they feel little or no constraints to reporting our activities under most circumstances. Really, is there anyone here who doubts that the kidnapping of a Canadian soldier would have been the lead story from the second they found out about it? Even knowing the end result of that might well be the said victim starring in an Al Jezzeera "snuff" video?

Circle the wagons and protect your own, by all means. Just remember "your own" is a bigger circle than just your fellow reporters.
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Re: CBC Reporter, Nabbed in AFG Four Weeks Ago, Released
« Reply #6 on: November 10, 2008, 02:31:26 »
Gee, maybe they could just do each other in for us.......

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20081110.wafghanfung10/BNStory/Afghanistan/home

A violent tug-of-war between insurgents and criminals broke out in lawless districts of Afghanistan as armed factions struggled for control of a Canadian journalist during her kidnapping ordeal, according to Taliban sources.
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Re: CBC Reporter, Nabbed in AFG Four Weeks Ago, Released
« Reply #7 on: November 10, 2008, 08:48:28 »
Well, if you believe some of the PAK media, there's more "dangerous militants" out on the street now - this, from the Pakistan Observer:
Quote
.... Afghan forces in Afghanistan initially claimed that the Candian journalist was freed as s result of an operation while other sources suspected that a “heavy ransom” was paid for her freedom. However an Afghan source Sunday confirmed that she was released only after Canadian and Afghan Governments had agreed to release the two “dangerous militants” ....
Although the headline and earlier references in this story refer to "Taliban", but even some reporter commentary I heard on CBC Radio today talked about prisoners "criminal gang members" being released, not Taliban.

Circle the wagons and protect your own, by all means. Just remember "your own" is a bigger circle than just your fellow reporters.
Here here!

Edited to clarify CBC reference to released individuals
« Last Edit: November 10, 2008, 09:04:32 by milnews.ca »
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KILLING WITH JOURNALISTS - FUNG ABDUCTION
« Reply #8 on: November 10, 2008, 10:12:51 »
Fung can be seen telling Canada's ambassador that she's not hurt and that she hopes people won't make "a big fuss" over her situation.

Canadian intelligence agents, elite commandos to free the Canadian journalist in a lightning raid went awry. U.S. Special Forces conducted their own, separate hostage rescue. The disclosure provided a rare glimpse behind the scenes at the extraordinary efforts the Canadian military, intelligence officers and diplomats on the ground went to in order to rescue Fung. There were a wide range of agencies, literally hundreds of people involved at our end; similarly with the government of Afghanistan," Harper said. It is known that a team of Canada's ultra-secret JTF-2 commandos, who were operating in Afghanistan and due to be rotated home when the kidnapping happened, were ordered to remain and assist. Hostage rescues are difficult and rarely attempted.

Yet, the journalist doesn't want to make a BIG FUSS over her situation !!!  >:(

That women was in a restricted area when she was abducted : she shouldn't have been there in the first place ! She endangered hundreds of people's life for the sake of FAME and the medias are making a hero of her !  :rage:

Canada is at war and there is no place for journalists in Afghanistan ! And for those who will argue that the people have a right to know, just be aware that news are CENSORED by the Harper Government anyway and that you get to read what has been given a green light.

JOURNALISTS OUT OF AFGHANISTAN TODAY !
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Re: KILLING WITH JOURNALISTS - FUNG ABDUCTION
« Reply #9 on: November 10, 2008, 10:39:59 »
In future, please try to pull your head out of your ***, instead of more poorly written diatribes about the role of the free press in wartime. The free press is the guarantor of the transparency that any Western liberal state depends on to maintain its own principles. While we've probably all had objections to individual members of the media, agencies, or particular stories, a free press is absolutely necessary if we are to jealously and diligently guard the standards that we try to hold ourselves to as a society.

Journalists who venture into areas of conflict have my utmost respect. I'd much rather read what they have to say than the opinions or editorials of those who stay at home armchair quarterbacking us from the home front. As much as possible should be reported about our military involvement in Afghanistan, so long as OPSEC is not breached. Has the media been lax in presenting a balanced portrayal of our mission? I think so- but pulling reporters out of Afghanistan is no solution.

When doing their job properly - as most do - media outlets give the public information they deserve to know about what their armed forces are doing here, and even when the stories talk about things we'd rather not have to have reported on, it can only serve to keep us honest and sometimes provide a reality check that may remind us if we're verging too close to straying from the values our nation holds dear.

Also, in future, please provide citations if you're going to quote a story, and don't just grab random bits of it, but post the better part of it so we can read it for ourselves.


http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/War_Terror/2008/11/08/7349316-cp.html
Quote from: Canoe.ca
OTTAWA - Three days after CBC reporter Mellissa Fung was kidnapped, Canadian intelligence agents and elite commandos were confident they knew where she was being held and planned a rescue.

But as so often happens in clandestine operations, the plan to free the Canadian journalist in a lightning raid went awry, a senior intelligence source told The Canadian Press.

U.S. Special Forces conducted their own, separate hostage rescue in roughly the same area west of the Afghan capital on the night of Oct. 15, as a Canadian commando team was laying its plans to go after Fung.

"It stirred up a real hornet's nest and we thought afterwards that they had probably moved her," said the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

The disclosure provided a rare glimpse behind the scenes at the extraordinary efforts the Canadian military, intelligence officers and diplomats on the ground went to in order to rescue Fung.

For days after the American raid, the region buzzed with outraged militants whose ground fire brought down a U.S. helicopter.

In the end, it appears Afghan officials were able to negotiate Fung's release through local tribal elders in Wardak province, a mostly lawless region of snow-capped mountain creases west of Kabul.

Almost from the outset, Canadian military and intelligence officers were convinced Fung was being held in the region, a favourite hideout for the Taliban as well as kidnappers and bandits who prey upon travellers along the Kabul-to-Kandahar highway.

Security and defence officials refused to discuss further details saying they did not want to compromise military tactics. But it is a known fact that NATO has sophisticated eavesdropping techniques.

The source said security authorities were confident that Fung's captors belonged to the "criminal entrepreneur class" that has arisen in Afghanistan over the last five years, and not the Taliban.

Militants have attempted to turn the kidnapping of foreigners into a cottage industry, but those abductions are usually meant to score propaganda points - or used as political leverage to win the release of jailed insurgents.

The notion that the Taliban were not involved was reinforced by militants themselves when they told the Afghan media in the immediate aftermath of Fung's abduction that they were not involved.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper, in announcing her release Saturday, refused to discuss details of the exhaustive Canadian effort to win her freedom.

"In terms of the role played by the government of Canada, I just say, you know, there were a wide range of agencies, literally hundreds of people involved at our end; similarly with the government of Afghanistan," Harper said.

"They worked in full co-operation at all stages. Beyond that there's not a lot I can say."

He praised Afghan President Hamid Karzai, whom Harper telephoned immediately after he was notified of the kidnapping while on the campaign trail, two days before the federal election.

"He promised me the full co-operation and engagement of his government and he delivered," Harper told a news conference in Ottawa.

The prime minister emphatically said no ransom had been paid.

It is known that a team of Canada's ultra-secret JTF-2 commandos, who were operating in Afghanistan and due to be rotated home when the kidnapping happened, were ordered to remain and assist.

Hostage rescues are difficult and rarely attempted.

The freeing of the American hostage - a civilian working for the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers - made headlines in the United States. It was believed to be the first known hostage rescue by U.S. forces in Afghanistan.

Several hostage-takers were apparently killed in the attack.

The hostage's name was not released, but U.S. authorities acknowledged he had been captured by criminals in late August and held at a hideaway in the Nirkh district of Wardak.

Aside from the American raid, only two other such missions are known to have occurred in Afghanistan, both in 2007. In one pre-dawn operation, both Italian captives were wounded in a raid by Italian commandos.

Fung was kidnapped two days before the Canadian federal election after visiting a refugee camp in the Qambar district, on the outskirts of Kabul.

She had been in the area apparently at the invitation of village elders, said officials with the Afghan Interior Ministry.[/canoe]
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Re: CBC Reporter, Nabbed in AFG Four Weeks Ago, Released
« Reply #10 on: November 10, 2008, 14:39:26 »
I've had issues with some media coverage of a lot of things, but I agree with Brihard re:  the need for a free press in a democracy.

While I don't agree with BLS's proposed solution.....
Canada is at war and there is no place for journalists in Afghanistan ! ....  JOURNALISTS OUT OF AFGHANISTAN TODAY !

GLS does, in a harsh pointed way, raises an interesting point...
That women was in a restricted area when she was abducted : she shouldn't have been there in the first place ! She endangered hundreds of people's life for the sake of FAME and the medias are making a hero of her !

We've had pages and pages of similar discussions here at Army.ca re:  helping get folks with CAN passports out of places gone bad like Lebanon - Canada is, like it or not, liable for helping out Canadians in trouble overseas.

While the CBC has denied this report in the PAK media, I haven't heard any denial of this tidbit:
Quote
.... Fung was reporting on the condition of refugees in a camp west of the capital. A security source told Quqnoos that she was “100%” advised by security officials not to go to the camp. Another official said Fung’s kidnap was the result of “gross negligence”.  “She made a calculated risk, it didn’t pay off but everyone is obviously very happy that she made it out,” said another security source.  Reports indicate that Fung was taken on her second consecutive trip to the camp ....

If this was the case, what was the EMPLOYER doing to ensure her safety while working (I assume) outside the embed agreement with/protection of the CF?  I understand how reporters want to get more of the story being away from military forces, but if they're going to go against someone's advice, shouldn't one at least get extra security to protect one?  Or was it a case of one's OWN hired guns saying, "not a good plan, Stan", and the reporter heading out anyway?

One idea might be revising the embed agreement to say "if you want to go outside the wire without CF coverage, you'll need your own security detail."  I don't know one could go as far as saying "you can't go outside the wire without your own security detail" without this being spun as a form of censorship/punishment for working outside the CF embed rules, but how's this for a start?  Or are such terms already in the embed agreement?
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Re: CBC Reporter, Nabbed in AFG Four Weeks Ago, Released
« Reply #11 on: November 10, 2008, 15:00:39 »
The free press is the guarantor of the transparency that any Western liberal state depends on to maintain its own principles. I am happy to hear that you believe this is still true...

Agreed, I have seen some very interesting, touching documentaries about the CF role in Afghanistan... One that comes to my mind is about canadian doctors tending to the locals and fallen soldiers. But there is no room for reporters on the front line, riding tanks and commenting on how good or bad our soldiers do their jobs... What makes them authorities on the subject anyway ?
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Re: CBC Reporter, Nabbed in AFG Four Weeks Ago, Released
« Reply #12 on: November 10, 2008, 15:14:06 »
But there is no room for reporters on the front line, riding tanks and commenting on how good or bad our soldiers do their jobs... What makes them authorities on the subject anyway ?

Was Fung doing that?  I thought she was visiting a refugee camp near Kabul.   ???
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Re: CBC Reporter, Nabbed in AFG Four Weeks Ago, Released
« Reply #13 on: November 10, 2008, 15:21:18 »
The free press is the guarantor of the transparency that any Western liberal state depends on to maintain its own principles. I am happy to hear that you believe this is still true...
I never said media are perfect (you can see that from some of my previous postings), but the alternative is monopoly information distribution, something that didn't work in the USSR, and isn't working in places like Burma, China or Cuba (and probably isn't working as well as the bosses would like in North Korea, either).

There is no room for reporters on the front line, riding tanks and commenting on how good or bad our soldiers do their jobs... What makes them authorities on the subject anyway ?
That's like expecting parliamentary reporters to be as expert at the subject as politicians and bureaucrats.  The honest reporters will tell you their job is NOT to be an authority, but to show/tell what they've seen, ideally through the eyes of a reader/viewer/listener/taxpayer who, also, are not authorities in the subject matter.  Also, former military experience isn't a guarantee of coverage everyone will like or agree with either.

If the CF or even all of the Coalition forces stop embedding reporters, do you really think media outlets won't send reporters to cover the war.  And what would we see?  Only the bad guys' point of view?  Is this better?

I understand your frustration, but in a democracy, we can do better than "kick the bums out" with reporters.
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Re: CBC Reporter, Nabbed in AFG Four Weeks Ago, Released
« Reply #14 on: November 10, 2008, 15:48:35 »
And for those who will argue that the people have a right to know, just be aware that news are CENSORED by the Harper Government anyway and that you get to read what has been given a green light.

...and you, my dear, need an extra blue pill tomorrow,....or the tinfoil hat.
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Re: CBC Reporter, Nabbed in AFG Four Weeks Ago, Released
« Reply #15 on: November 10, 2008, 21:41:38 »
 ;D

blue pill tomorrow,....or the tinfoil hat.

The only blue pill I know is Viagra... and Viagra is for men... However, I have checked out the tinfoil hat link and I must admit that I tend to prefer that option... I am a woman, after all... with a soft spot for fashion...  :warstory:
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Re: CBC Reporter, Nabbed in AFG Four Weeks Ago, Released
« Reply #16 on: November 11, 2008, 08:28:44 »
The thread sound similar to "Rolling Stone Embeds with the Taliban" thread.http://forums.army.ca/forums/index.php/topic,80624.0.html and since a few of the posters here have expressed similar opinions to mine I will abstain from commenting.  8)

However, (no, can't pass it up, I like to read my own writing maybe...  ;D ) I think reporters should be able to go wherever they have the guts to go as long as they don't ask for our help, use our resources, compromise our ops and take full responsibility for their safety. They and their news agency should cover all the costs associated with their work including any ransom they have to pay. Unfortunately, the CBC is somewhat of a state corporation and the tax payer will end up covering some of the tab anyway.
If they get killed, that is par of the job in an area like Afghanistan or Iraq - many have been killed in war zones. Of course, we wouldn't target them knowingly.

Anyway, got to get busy.
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Quote from: RHFC_piper ink=topic=51916.msg617784#msg617784 date=1190404708

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Re: CBC Reporter, Nabbed in AFG Four Weeks Ago, Released
« Reply #17 on: November 11, 2008, 10:31:50 »
I think reporters should be able to go wherever they have the guts to go as long as they don't ask for our help, use our resources, compromise our ops and take full responsibility for their safety. They and their news agency should cover all the costs associated with their work including any ransom they have to pay.

Yes, agreed. The thing is : CF will have to come to the rescue sooner or later and jeopardize missions and lifes. Are these reporters brave or just stupid ?
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Re: CBC Reporter, Nabbed in AFG Four Weeks Ago, Released
« Reply #18 on: November 11, 2008, 14:11:54 »
My main riling factor is the fact that many reporters/MSM personal get nabbed or shot or...whatever, and no one hears about it...BUT this one CBC reporter, who was probably in the wrong place at the wrong time, got nabbed and slightly injured and the CBC wants us to cry for her?  Sorry, NOT! especially when the CBC is no friend to the military and reports our OPS and whereabouts to the world.
Geeesssh, I dispise the CBC.
Sorry, my 2 cents today.

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Re: CBC Reporter, Nabbed in AFG Four Weeks Ago, Released
« Reply #19 on: November 17, 2008, 22:23:59 »
Well summed up, General N - highlights mine, shared in accordance with the "fair dealing" provisions, Section 29, of the Copyright Act.

Media should clam up when lives at risk: military boss
Canadian Press, 17 Nov 08
Article link

OTTAWA — Canada's top military commander says the next time someone is kidnapped in Afghanistan, he hopes the media shows the same kind of restraint it did in the case of captured CBC journalist Mellissa Fung.

The unprecedented 28-day news blackout, which ended with the 35-year-old's release on Nov. 2, was absolutely necessary to save her life, Gen. Walter Natynczyk said Monday.

The kidnapping of western aid workers, diplomats and journalists is on the rise in that war-torn region, especially in the region of Kabul, and it's reasonable to expect there will be a next time.

"I would hope - again - the media would show constraint when there is life at risk," Natynczyk told The Canadian Press.

He tossed accolades for the media's "self discipline" in handling the total blackout. Several U.S. and Canadian news organizations, including The Canadian Press, chose not to publish news of Fung's Oct. 12 kidnapping because they believed doing so would put her life at increased risk.

"I think when lives are at risk, there is a professional question the media should address in terms of balancing the need to go out (with the story) at the same time against loss of life," he said at the end of a wide-ranging interview.

Natynczyk would not discuss the advice he gave to the Conservative government, nor the military's role in the efforts to retrieve Fung, who was snatched by Afghan thugs at a refugee camp south of Kabul.

The military's ultra-secret commando unit along with intelligence agents attempted to track her whereabouts in the rugged mountain passes west of Kabul.

Security sources told The Canadian Press that a military rescue plan had been prepared to snatch Fung back from her captors.

Fung's release, secured following the simultaneous freeing of some of her suspected kidnappers, prompted heated debates in newsrooms and among public observers over whether other kidnap victims could expect similar consideration in the future.

Keeping the public in the dark about what could have been a politically explosive incident - Fung was kidnapped two days before a federal election - has set "a huge precedent," according to an expert in access to law information law.

"We are on a slippery slope because we are a democracy after all," said Michel Drapeau, a former colonel.

"I thought it was just and proper to withhold the information about Ms. Fung and the danger here is whether government or the military now feel as though they can step in and say we won't allow (the media) to make the decision and we're going to make it for you."

Drapeau said he doesn't read that into Natynczyk's comments, but silence about what role the government and the military played in convincing the CBC to keep the matter hushed disturbs him.

There seems to be an expectation on the part of the general that the same rules will apply in the future, which could be a mistake, Drapeau said.

"His opinion is as good as yours and mine, but it is in the public interest to be informed and the media not only has a right, but an obligation to report," said Drapeau, who has fought many information rights cases with the Defence Department.

"There is no argument that (the black out) is a precedent. The question is whether it will be followed - or distinguish against it; or whether it will apply in the future: Who knows?"

The editor-in-chief of The Canadian Press, Scott White, said whenever lives are risked, the news agency's policy is clear: "No story is worth a life."

But he said potential cases in the future should be decided individually and much depends on trust and how forthcoming the institution - be it government, the military or aid organizations - are about the risks faced by the victim.

CBC was quick to disclose those risks on a confidential basis and kept other organizations in the loop, White added.

"I can't emphasize enough that speed and openness makes the difference," White said.

The military has been slow to disclose information in other cases and has kept a tight rein on journalists embedded with the army in Kandahar, said Steve Staples, of the left-leaning Rideau Institute.

"When someone's life is at stake you should always err on the side of caution," Staples said Monday.

"I would be concerned if the military and the government in particular tries to use this as a blanket precedent in future cases and tries to prevent the publication of information that the public needs."

Journalists have in many cases bent over backwards to shape coverage of the Afghan war to meet the operational security concerns of the military, he said.

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Re: CBC Reporter, Nabbed in AFG Four Weeks Ago, Released
« Reply #20 on: November 17, 2008, 23:38:29 »
Although it sounds dodgy for western reporters, at least they can be ransomed. Afghan journalists can look forward to a good torture session followed by a beheading if they get nabbed.

And by the way, what kind of idiotic western reporter would wander around with inadequate security in a threat environment like this? Answer: a CBC reporter who is arrogant/naive enough to think that because they're Canadian everyone will leave them alone, who else?

Risks increase for Afghan war reporters
Jason Motlagh
Saturday, September 27, 2008

KABUL, Afghanistan | Media freedom, one of Afghanistan's key post-Taliban achievements, is under assault as journalists grapple with worsening security and threats from warlords and Islamic hard-liners who wield an increasingly heavy hand against the government, media rights groups and some state officials.
The myriad dangers faced by foreign journalists trying to report on the gathering insurgency are exceeded by those dogging their Afghan counterparts, who run the risk of being killed outright by the Taliban if caught, and harassed, arrested or worse at the behest of powerful politicians averse to criticism.
Topics related to national security, religion and official corruption have become "red lines," according to Rahimullah Samandar, head of the Afghan Independent Journalist Association (AIJA). Self-censorship is on the rise, and there is concern that instability and a steady erosion of public support may combine to make the government even more rigid toward reporters.
"Warlords in the Cabinet wield too much power and have no respect for freedom of the press," Mr. Samandar said. "In some ways the government is now worse than the Taliban."
According to the Nai Supporting Open Media in Afghanistan, a nongovernmental organization, the government was responsible for at least 23 of the 45 reported incidents of intimidation, violence or arrest of journalists between May 2007 and May 2008.
This amounts to a 130 percent spike compared with the same period the previous year and explains in part why the country dropped 12 places, from 130th to 142nd, in the annual Reporters Without Borders press freedom index.
Even critics admit that Afghan journalists have come a long way and still have greater freedoms than those working in neighboring countries such as Iran and Pakistan. The domestic media was entirely controlled by the state at the fall of the Taliban in 2001. Since then, the market has blossomed with more than 400 print publications, 50 privately owned radio stations, five news agencies and eight TV channels that use slick production methods and female anchors.
However, this impressive growth has recently been stunted by a decline in mobility and independence.
"If a foreign journalist gets caught by the Taliban, they can expect to live in exchange for some big money," said an Afghan staff photographer for an international news agency, requesting that his name not be used. "If we are caught, for sure they will kill us."
Last April, Adjmal Nasqhbandi, a free-lance Afghan journalist and translator, was accused of being a spy, abducted and beheaded by the Taliban in southern Helmand province, an insurgent stronghold. The Italian correspondent traveling with him, Daniele Mastrogiacomo, was later released in exchange for five militants.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2008/sep/27/foreign-journalists-risk-warlords-islamic-hard-lin/
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