Dr. Katherine Brown, CEO and President of Global Ties U.S. spoke about her latest book, Your Country, Our War: The Press and Diplomacy in Afghanistan – which takes a look at how news gathering and reporting can intersect with international politics. How the U.S. news media has an incredible reach and influence that can shape global perspectives, especially in the post-9/11 era.
Based on eight years of interviews in Kabul, Washington, and New York, Dr. Brown.reviews the trajectory of the U.S. news narrative about modern Afghanistan and America’s never-ending war, and the rise of Afghan journalism, from 2001 to 2017.
The book also examines the impact of the U.S. news media inside Afghanistan, giving focus to the rapid development of a community of Afghan reporters who grappled daily with how to define themselves and their country during a tumultuous and uneven transition from fundamentalist to democratic rule.
Dr. Brown’s presentation gave rich details about the U.S.-Afghan relationship, especially former President of Afghanistan Hamid Karzai’s convictions about the role of the Western press, what we have begun to understand about how journalists are not merely observers to a story; they are participants in it.
The panel discussion which followed included David Ensor, director of the Project for Media and National Security and former diplomat in Kabul, Afghanistan (2010-11); Sean Aday, SMPA associate professor who has been involved in global media and government capacity training projects, including work in Iraq and Afghanistan; and Ben Hopkins, director of the Sigur Center for Asian Studies and a specialist in modern South Asian history, in particular that of Afghanistan.
The event was jointly organized with the Sigur Center.