The Fifth Estate
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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.
Sally Warhaft is a Melbourne broadcaster, anthropologist and writer and the host of the Wheeler Centre’s live journalism series, the Fifth Estate, now in its sixth 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.
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.
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.
Sally Warhaft has been the Wheeler Centre’s in-house news anchor since 2012. In 2018 – over 100 episodes in – the anthropologist, broadcaster and intrepid interviewer’s fortnightly live series continues, as she responds to the most important debates of the day and reignites stories that have fallen off the front pages.
Every second Tuesday, Sally hosts a dizzying array of guests from the worlds of politics, culture, international relations and beyond, in a witty and revealing analysis of current affairs. It’s an event series and a live podcast taping rolled into one. Topical guests are announced in the weeks prior to events: keep an eye on our website (or in the Wheeler Weekly) for updates.
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