British civilian war correspondent in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Iraq during and after Gulf conflict, 1990-1992 and in Bosnia and Croatia, 1992. Research into Gulf War Syndrome
REEL 1 Aspects of family and educational background. Recollections of period as reporting for Channel 4 and independent television on Gulf crisis, war and aftermath, 1990-1992: joining Channel 4 daily; memories of Terry Lloyd's reports on Iraqi gassing of civilians in Halabja; execution of Observer journalist, Barzoft in Iraq; dangers for journalists/reporters; reaction to Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, 2/8/1990; build up to Gulf War; posting to Middle East to cover Gulf crisis; gas training and protective equipment; fear of gas attack; journey to Saudi Arabia.
REEL 2 Continues: arrival in Saudi Arabia; attitude of other journalists towards Channel 4 daily news; description of Media Centre in Dharan; news situation in Riyadh and Jeddah; restrictions on journalists; attempts to film and record Saudi life; nature of society in Saudi Arabia; story of American female soldier that stood up to Saudi secret police; Allied military restrictions on media; tensions within camera crew.
REEL 3 Continues: filming war build up on 'Route Dodge'; beginning of war; sounding of sirens; transmitting material to London by satellite system; Scud attack warnings; nature of Scud attacks and Patriot missile defence; attitude towards Scud attacks; question of damage caused by Scud and Patriot missiles; news coverage of the air war; distance from war; contrast between US and British aircrews; humour of British forces; attitude towards success of air war; fears of Israeli retaliation against Iraq Scud attacks.
REEL 4 Continues: need for sensitivity when referring to Israel; fears of Israeli retaliation; Iraqi attack on Khafji; media present in Khafji and reports on oil slick; censorship of film containing images of dead bodies; news situation in Riyadh and Jeddah; system of briefings for media; beginning of land war and initial news blackout; media pool system; briefing by Norman Schwarzkopf; speed of land war.
REEL 5 Continues: return to Dharan and chaotic situation there; joining convoy entering Kuwait; atmosphere in Kuwait after liberation; life for Kuwaitis under Iraqi occupation; war devastation of Kuwait; journey in Shia rebellion area after end of war; sight of destruction on road to Basra; entering Iraqi territory to witness ceasefire; sight of burning oil wells; refugees and their attitude towards Saddam Hussein; meeting group of Republican Guards.
REEL 6 Continues: journey towards Basra; being stopped at Iraqi roadblock; difficulties re-entering Saudi Arabia; negotiating way through minefield; filming US barracks bombed during air war; story of drunken return journey to GB; attitude towards Saudi policy re alcohol; Saudi censorship of photographs of women; reasons for rejecting ITN's offer of counselling; difficulties of television reporting.
REEL 7 Continues: female journalists working in Gulf; question of women in the military; description of media pool system; return to Northern Iraq, 10/1991; impressions of Kurdistan; living conditions for Kurdish people; Turkish bombing raids in area; visit to hospital and reaction to filming child injuring in bombing raid; conditions in Zakho hospital; filming rally for Barzani; return to Northern Iraq, 4/1992; filming with PKK; impressions of Kurdish area of Northern Iraq; Iraqi action in area; living conditions for Kurds; visit to Baghdad, 3/1992; description of Al Rashid hotel; impact of sanctions; Iraqi reaction to his report on makeshift incubators.
REEL 8 Continues: filming in Karbala; story of how evidence of executions was preserved; interviews with Iraqi people; culture in Iraq; attitude of Iraqis towards Saddam Hussein and his regime; lack of contact with ordinary Iraqis. Recollections of reporting on war in former Yugoslavia, 1992: move to Sarajevo, 5/1992; complexity of situation in Sarajevo; wearing flak jackets; degree of United Nations involvement, spring 1992; role of EEC monitoring group; opinion of Colm Doyle; signs of ethnic cleansing in Sarajevo; start of fighting around Mostar; media casualties.
REEL 9 Continues: outdated nature of war in former Yugoslavia; news coverage of war; filming in Croatia for UNPROFOR; situation on front line in Croatia. Recollections researching and producing programmes on Gulf War Syndrome: legacy of Gulf War; symptoms of Gulf War Syndrome; attitude of MOD towards GWS; possible reasons for GWS; American research into GWS; lack of provision for veterans concerned about GWS; psychological problems; producing radio programmes on GWS; veterans interviewed for programmes; pollution from burning oil wells; tablets and vaccinations to military and media in Gulf.
REEL 10 Continues: MOD attitude towards GWS. Reflections on war reporting: importance of on the spot reporting; status of war reporting in media world; question of voyeurism; question of bravery of war correspondents; insurance cover for journalists; question of censorship and self-censorship.