Universiteit Leiden

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Lecture | Studium Generale

Reporting from the front

  • Arnold Karskens
Wednesday 7 September 2016
Anna van Buerenplein
Anna van Buerenplein 301
2595 DG The Hague

The hostility of (for example) IS towards journalists and the rise of citizen journalism is putting war journalism to the test. Many war correspondents now work as embedded reporters; instead of moving independently on the battlefield they stay with the military, who arrange food, transport and even sleeping accommodations. Furthermore, many correspondents report on war situations without having a complete overview (who has an overview anyway?). They also rely on second-hand information, including stories/testimonies from civilians and via social media. Is it possible to give an ‘objective’ view of the war in these conditions?

Arnold Karskens (1954) is the longest working Dutch war journalist with 35 years of reporting experience. He specializes in research on war criminals. One of his most famous books is Pleisters op de ogen, pleister op de mond (about the history of Dutch war reporting, 2001). In 2008 he received the Clara Meijer-Wichmann Penning, a human rights award presented annually by the League for Human Rights.

Robert Chesal is an investigative reporter and winner of the 2010 Journalist of the Year Award from the Netherlands Association of Journalists (NVJ). Aside from his work in journalism, he is a translator and university lecturer at Leiden University Center and University of Groningen.

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