The Daily Northwestern

Video: NYT reporter discusses captivity

Ashley Gates

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Video by Michael Walton and Ashley Gates/The Daily Northwestern

On Wednesday night in the McCormick Tribune Center, just as NU students settled back into their usual school routine, New York Times reporter David Rohde shared his harrowing story of captivity while on assignment in Afghanistan.

Rohde was captured by Taliban forces in Afghanistan in the beginning of 2008 and was held hostage in Pakistan for seven months. He shared a detailed account of his time in captivity in several areas of Pakistan. In 2009, Rohde received the Medill Medal of Courage for his series “Held by the Taliban.”

During his lecture, Rohde showed a video on The New York Times website detailing the Taliban’s brainwashing techniques. He also highlighted the importance of protection for journalists reporting abroad in hostile foreign nations.

“If you are going to report (in Pakistan, Iraq and Somalia), you need to be aggressive in asking your editors how they will assist you if you’re injured or need to be evacuated and need to be helped in any way,” Rohde said.

Rohde and his wife are part of a community that helps to train journalists traveling to these countries.

“It’s your right to ask these questions,” he said. “These are very serious situations.”

Rohde concluded on a high note, encouraging future journalists to go abroad and change the face of journalism.

The original version of the article misspelled the word “Afghanistan.” It has since been corrected.

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