What can facing death and danger teach us about humanity and the world we live in, and what wisdom can be learned from working in war zones?
In every episode, foreign correspondent Ramita Navai, renowned for her investigations and for telling the ‘story behind the story’, talks to a fellow war reporter about the life-changing moment they faced death.
As guests recount extraordinary stories of kidnap and danger – many never told before – they explore what the experience taught them about themselves and the world, and how it’s changed their perspectives on life.
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Show notes and transcripts:
– Watch Ramita’s latest documentary No Country for Women on ITV Hub
Presented by Ramita Navai
Executive Producers Richard Osman and Matt Raz
Produced and edited by Chris Scott (@ctscott_)
In the series finale of The Line of Fire, Ramita interviews Sebastian Junger, the number one New York Times bestselling author, multi award-winning journalist and Oscar-nominated documentary maker.
Sebastian explains how he was inspired to become a journalist while researching dangerous jobs, and what drew him to conflict reporting.
When he was covering the war in Bosnia, Sebastian’s first book The Perfect Storm became an instant best-seller, and Sebastian describes how retreating from the limelight to cover the war in Sierra Leone helped him cope with the pressures of overwhelming success.
Sebastian discusses life-changing experiences, including the time he spent with the famed Afghan fighter Ahmad Shah Massoud and being embedded with a platoon of US soldiers in the Korengal Valley in Afghanistan, then considered one of the most dangerous postings in the US military.
Sebastian shares his insights about the effects of witnessing violence and the worst of human nature, and about his decision to leave war reporting after the death of his close friend and collaborator Tim Hetherington who was killed while covering the Arab Spring in Libya in 2011.
- You can find all Sebastian’s books (including Freedom, Tribe, and The Perfect Storm) and films (including Restrepo) here: http://www.sebastianjunger.com/
- Follow Sebastian on Twitter @sebastianjunger
- Follow Sebastian on Instagram @sebastianjungerofficial
Ramita Navai is an internationally recognised, Emmy and Robert F. Kennedy award-winning British-Iranian investigative journalist, documentary maker and author. With a reputation for working in hostile environments, she has reported from over forty countries, made over thirty documentaries and features and worked as a foreign correspondent for print.
Sebastian is a New York Times number 1 bestselling author of books including The Perfect Storm – made into a Hollywood film starring George Clooney – and his most recent, Freedom. Sebastian is a contributing editor to Vanity Fair magazine, and has covered the world’s major international news stories, receiving both a National Magazine Award and a Peabody Award. His film Restrepo chronicled the deployment of a platoon of U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan’s Korengal Valley. It was widely considered to have broken new ground in war reporting. It won the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature.
Anas Aremeyaw Anas
Mais Al-Bayaa is an Iraqi-British investigative journalist and documentary producer covering terrorism, human rights and corruption across the Middle East. Her work includes exposing abuses and targeted assassination by Shia militias and Iraqi clerics selling young women for sex.
Sam Kiley is a world-renowned journalist with over 30 years’ experience reporting on some of the world’s most dangerous conflicts – from the Rwandan genocide to Ukraine’s front lines today. He’s also a published author of Desperate Glory – an unflinching portrait of the reality of war – the bombs, the shooting and the daily struggles that push them to the very limit of human endurance.
Sam’s book: Desperate Glory
Shoaib Sharifi is an Afghan journalist and film director. He is currently BBC Media Action’s country director in Afghanistan and this year’s BBC News Leader of the Year. With twenty years of journalism and Media Production experience with some well-known news agencies and television networks, he leads programmes and projects focusing on governance, health, building resilience and humanitarian crisis response.
Janine di Giovanni
Janine di Giovanni is a multi-award winning journalist and author. She has covered some of the most violent conflicts and wars over the past three decades, including Syria, Bosnia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Kosovo, Chechnya, and has won more than a dozen awards, including the Courage in Journalism Award. Janine is currently directing a project on war crimes in Ukraine.
The Vanishing: The Twilight of Christianity in the Middle East
Stuart Ramsay is chief correspondent at Sky News, covering major global news stories and world events – including 18 separate wars over a 30-year career. Stuart has covered major global news stories and world events – including 18 separate wars, and has won two Emmys, and been nominated for another three, as well as receiving four BAFTA nominations.
Sky News team under heavy fire as ambushed in Ukraine.
Clarissa Ward is a British-American television journalist and CNN’s multi-award winning chief international correspondent based in London. For more than 15 years Ward has reported from front lines across the world from Syria, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan and Yemen to Ukraine and Georgia during the Russian incursion in 2008.
Listen to Tug of War.
Read Clarissa’s book ‘On All Fronts’.