War reporters launch ASMALLWORLD 'Insider Series'

In a first for the online social community ASMALLWORLD, a live joint webcast with the International Herald Tribune, ‘Behind the Scenes: How to Report a War’ was deemed a success...

Members of the ASW invitation-only website (www.asw.com) tuned in on Wednesday to watch two of the world’s most senior foreign correspondents, John Laurence and John F Burns, give fascinating insights into their wartime experiences, from covering Vietnam to running a bureau in Baghdad.

The discussion was moderated by Alison Smale, managing editor of the International Herald Tribune, in London.

Former CBS and ABC reporter John Laurence - described by the Financial Times as ‘the finest war correspondent of his generation’ - told a packed room at the capital’s Frontline Club: “The key to reporting any story well is to remember you’re an outsider, even if you live and breathe what you’re covering”.

Also on hand was John F Burns, double Pulitzer-prize winning London bureau chief for The New York Times, who warned: "If newspapers disappear in favour of online reporting and blogs, the quality and accuracy of journalism will suffer immeasurably".

Members who participated in this first ‘Insider Series Discussion’ sent questions to the discussion panel via the ASW website. Much of the discussion centred on whether Iraq would ever be a fully functioning democracy.

ASW founder Erik Wachtmeister says the event was the first in a series of opportunities for members to get together and interact both online and offline and discuss pressing issues.

“By introducing experts at the very top of their field to the ASW community, our members have a great opportunity to engage firsthand on issues they feel are important, wherever they are in the world.”

Patrick Falconer, the International Herald Tribune’s managing director UK, Northern Europe, MEA said: “The high quality speakers at our successful event carry huge influence internationally and are some of the most prominent correspondents out there. And the sophisticated and affluent audience, made up of International Herald Tribune subscribers and ASW members, were the ideal guests.”

ASMALLWORLD and the International Herald Tribune share a similar demographic made up of high-net-worth subscribers around the globe, and many work at CEO or Managing Director level in industries ranging from finance to media.

Other key points from the event:

  • "We have not seen censorship as it is currently being used over Iraq at the moment, since World War One" - John Laurence
  • "100,000 international troops will be in Afghanistan in the next three years (up from 50,000 today)" - John F Burns

    ASMALLWORLD regularly holds events exclusively for members. The next event will take place later this month in St Tropez, to celebrate ASW’s 4th anniversary.