The First Casualty
A Memoir from the Front Lines of the Global War on Journalism
- Penguin Random House
- Publish Date
- October 2017
In a world where the first casualty of war is truth, journalism has become the new battleground. 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.