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Peter Greste spent two decades reporting from the front line in the world's most dangerous countries before making headlines himself following his own incarceration in an Egyptian prison. Charged with threatening national security, and enduring a sham trial, solitary confinement and detention for 400 days, Greste himself became a victim of the new global war on journalism.
Wars have always been about propaganda, but today's battles are increasingly between ideas, and the media has become part of the battlefield. Extremists have staked a place in news dissemination with online postings, and journalists have moved from being witnesses to the struggle to a means by which the war is waged - which makes them a target. Having covered conflicts in Afghanistan, Iraq and Somalia, as well as having spent time prison in Egypt, Greste is extremely well placed to describe in vivid detail what effect this has on the nature of reporting and the mind of the reporter.
Based on extensive interviews and research, Greste shows how this war on journalism has spread to the West, not just in the murders at the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo or the repressions of Putin's Russia, but Australia's metadata laws and Trump's phony war on 'fake news'.
In this courageous, compelling, vital account, Greste unpicks the extent to which modern investigative journalism is under threat and the fraught quest - and desperate need - for truth in the age of terrorism.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Nadia David on 04-28-18
Dense but worth it
Peter Greste writes both a memoir of his experiences as a political prisoner in Egypt but also a description and opinion on how Western societies have come to distrust and attack the media, despite the vital role a free media plays in democracy. It is at times very complex and dense, but Peter reads it like he’s talking with you and builds a well-argued case for the importance of a free press. It’s at times depressing (Trump, need I say more?) but tells a story that must be told - of the truth, of race and culture and religion, and of what it is to be accused of something you simply would never do.
By David on 02-04-18
Grim but Life as is
Would you try another book written by Peter Greste or narrated by Peter Greste?
Certainly, this type of view from someone who has been "on the rough end" beats just story telling. A good novel is one of life's great treats, but the hard reality here of just what is transpiring outside of our usual view, it is a wake up call from the ominus all pervasive twitter daily about us. Bring it on.
What did you like best about this story?
The contrast between being an well oiled up Jurno going about his usual traps, to just what happened when that "Tap on the Door" came is solid stuff. Peter was like most of us and took sometime for the harsh light of day to break in upon him and start to take in just what was really happening. This was when the real pain began. He finally came to the conclusion of just how low was his position on the pecking order of being able to get things done. What a shock! Here the story really gets going, from the nasty prison cell floor, back to civilised life again. From his hell back to life and loved ones.
What three words best describe Peter Greste’s performance?
perseverance, perseverance, perseverance
Could you see The First Casualty being made into a movie or a TV series? Who would the stars be?
A bit out of my realm. TV series often are quite divorced from the truth, poetic licence ??
Any additional comments?
Mateship meant alot, The long hours of solitary confinement would be crushing, completely crushing for most of us. All desire for life would be tried, sifted, who wouldn't consider throwing in the towel, lots do under those conditions. But here was guy who knew himself, and did not give up. One hell of a reporter aye??