Pilger reveals ‘The War You Don’t See’

“If you have passion and a will, you’ll find a way,” is the advice from veteran war correspondent John Pilger to those seeking a career in journalism.

He described his own advice as “romantic”, but this did nothing to lull the impression he had made on a captivated audience.

In his speech at the University of Lincoln, two-time British Journalist of the Year winner, Pilger took the audience on a journey through several of the war-torn areas he has reported from, including Vietnam and Cambodia. Pilger’s recollections were accompanied by video footage of his original reports.


John Pilger spoke at the University of Lincoln on November 1st about some of his documentaries. Photo: Sam Cox

The event was held in the university’s EMMTEC building on Monday evening, November 1st, and also saw previews of the Pilger archives, which have been given to the university.

During the talk Pilger was justly vivid in his descriptions, labelling the atrocities he witnessed in Cambodia as a “mosaic of horror” and saying that the country had “been bombed back to the stone-age”. He also spoke of being placed on a Khmer Rouge death list.

The introduction of his ground breaking documentary “The Quiet Mutiny”, which is about the Vietnam War, was screened to illustrate an example of his work, which professor Keeble described as “poetry”.

Pilger said: “The whole notion of embedding and controlling reporting was based on the myth that reporters lost the war in Vietnam for the United States. They didn’t. The United States did a very good job of losing it themselves.”

The audience were also treated to a sneak preview of Pilger’s new documentary “The War You Don’t See”, which will be released in both cinemas and on ITV1 this December.

He was collected and modest throughout, gaining much applause and congratulation.

To finish he encouraged aspiring journalists to be focused rather than trying to do everything at once. “The one man band approach is wrong,” he said.