• "You’ve got no one left to tell the story” warns Bilal Sarwary, legendary Afghan journalist, as he flees Kabul following death threats from the Taliban. 

    Bilal’s not alone. He’s part of a new generation of journalists who’ve come of age since 9/11 who’ve been forced to abandon their homes and careers reporting on their homeland.   

    Those reporters who do remain in Afghanistan face an uncertain future under a regime that once banned television and the internet, and who have maintained an assassination campaign against journalists — particularly women. 

    It’s a reality at odds with the reformed, liberal image a slick new Taliban PR machine is constructing. 

    International correspondent Jane Ferguson (PBS, The New Yorker) calls the re-brand “a brilliant idea cooked up in Doha by Taliban leaders". But she says implementing a more moderate rule is impossible. 

    While the Taliban says women are free to keep learning and working, Moby and Tolo News boss Saad Mohseni faces a world where his reporters are beaten up for doing their jobs. 

    In this first episode of Journo, host Nick Bryant investigates the exodus of Afghan media, and the powerful spin from Taliban HQ that helped them claim the country. 

    Journo is a production of Deadset Studios for the Judith Neilson Institute. 

    Grab your press pass: Journo helps you understand how your news is made, disseminated, and consumed. 

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

  • Grab your press pass: Journo helps you understand how your news is made, disseminated, and consumed. 

    After a long career as a BBC international correspondent, Nick Bryant has returned to Australia — a former posting — at a time of unprecedented media disruption and polarised politics. 

    “I’ve seen the media industry being overtaken by so many changes and the truth is, I'm still trying to make sense of them myself,” Bryant said.

    “I don’t expect to come up with all the answers, nowhere near, but hopefully we'll ask some of the right questions.” 

    In Journo, Bryant explores how journalism around the world is changing, where it’s heading, and why more people are questioning the media’s commitment to truth.  

    Journo will take you inside Afghanistan. Foreign reporters flee, local journalists are in fear for their lives, and the Taliban has returned armed not just with weapons, but with spin and more sophisticated communications tactics.

    Later episodes of Journo will ask whether reporters can trust the most important device in their journalistic toolkit — the phone — in an age of surveillance, and how journalists can report on rising global superpower China when most western media has been booted out. 

    The Judith Neilson Institute’s Executive Director Mark Ryan said: “The world is awash with news and opinion and it’s more important than ever for everyone, even journalists themselves, to understand how it’s made, how it’s used and abused, and how it can be made more reliable and trustworthy for its audience. That’s what Journo aims to do.”

    Follow Journo in your podcast app so you don’t miss an episode. 

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

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