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The Fifth Estate

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at ACMI Cinema 1, Australian Centre for the Moving Image

The Influence of ISIS

As the reach of ISIS continues to unfurl, key strategic cities in Syria and Iraq have fallen to the group and a number of Australians (most often young or vulnerable) have been drawn into its networks. While media attention has focused primarily on the spectacle of ISIS – the beheadings and immolations – and the organisation’s sophisticated online recruitment strategies, true and measured insight has sometimes proven elusive. What are we failing to comprehend about the workings and the ambitions of the group? Not five years since the optimistic first stirrings of the Arab Spring, how did we get here – to talk of an apocalyptic showdown – so quickly?

Sally Warhaft is joined by award-winning journalist Sally Neighbour, author of two books on terrorism and Islamic extremism, and Jamie Tarabay, senior editor of national security and tech at Vocativ, to discuss the growing influence of ISIS and, more generally, the challenges of reporting on global conflict today.

Update: Sally Neighbour has replaced Roger Cohen in this event, as Roger Cohen is no longer appearing at Melbourne Writers Festival.

Who?

Portrait of Sally Warhaft

Sally Warhaft

Sally Warhaft is a Melbourne broadcaster, anthropologist and writer. She hosts the Fifth Estate, the Wheeler Centre’s live series focusing on journalism, politics, media, and international relations, now in its ninth year. She is a former editor of the Monthly magazine and the author of the bestselling book Well May We Say: The Speeches that Made Australia.

Sally is a regular host and commentator on ABC radio and has a PhD in anthropology. She did her fieldwork in Mumbai, India, living by the seashore with the local fishing community.

Portrait of Jamie Tarabay

Jamie Tarabay

Jamie Tarabay is a foreign correspondent and the author of A Crazy Occupation: Eyewitness to the Intifada. As Baghdad bureau chief for NPR News her reporting was awarded the Alfred I duPont-Columbia University Award. She has lived and reported from the Middle East, Southeast Asia, Northen Africa and the United States for over 15 years. 

Portrait of Sally Neighbour

Sally Neighbour

Sally Neighbour is executive producer of Four Corners. She is a multiple award-winning journalist and author, best known for her work with Four Corners as well as her specialist writing with The Australian newspaper and her authorship of two books on terrorism and Islamic extremism. 

Sally’s book The Mother of Mohammed (MUP 2009) was shortlisted for the Walkley non-fiction book award. In the Shadow of Swords: On the trail of terrorism from Afghanistan to Australia (Harper Collins 2004) won the 2005 NSW history prize and was named by the Economist as one of its best 25 books for 2005. Sally also edited the book marking Four Corners’ 50th anniversary.

The Fifth Estate

For in-depth insider analysis of current affairs, it doesn't get any better than The Fifth Estate. 

This long-running series is a mainstay of the Wheeler Centre’s programme, and of public conversation in Melbourne. Twice a month, our in-house news anchor Sally Warhaft hosts guests from the world of politics, culture, journalism and international relations to dissect pressing questions of policy, power and public affairs. It's free, it's fortnightly and it's a chance to give complex local and global issues the thoughtful discussion they deserve.

Guests are announced in the weeks prior to events, so keep an eye on our website (or the Wheeler Weekly newsletter) for updates. Subscribe to the popular Fifth Estate podcast – or book a (free) ticket – for expert analysis on today's key debates.

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