Today (Saturday)'s industry discussion 'Shooting In Warzones' will no doubt draw heavily on the recent war in Iraq. So too does Reporters At War, a new documentary mini-series by film-maker Jon Blair, who won an Oscar and IDFA's Wisselzak Prize for Anne Frank Remembered in 1995.
The series paints an un-sanitised view of war, mixing images that are a lot tougher than anything normally screened in prime-time news bulletins - even though the Iraq War was the most televised in history - with interviews and commentary from leading war correspondents. The technique used involves juxtaposing footage from the recent war with archive footage and publications from the last century.
One leading war reporter Robert Fisk of the UK's Independent newspaper argues that governments and television authorities normally stop people from seeing extreme images of violence "because if they saw them, they would never again support war". Others like Vietnam veteran, Gloria Steinem of the New York Times take a different view: "I don't think as a journalist you can go on pretending your stories make a difference. They were like ice cubes, they melted,' she tells Blair.
The first of the three-part series (which airs tomorrow on the UK strand of The Discovery Channel) is said to be particularly brutal. It includes beatings, shootings, horrific machete wounds, dying children and detached body parts in following explosions.
In the second, directed not by Blair, but by Deborah Colman, the emphasis is on the influence of technology on how wars are reported by the media and received by the public. This spans 150 years from early use of war photography, to use of cinematography during World War II, up to the 24-hour news channel coverage of the recent Iraqi conflict and its 'embedding' of journalists with carefully selected sections of the military forces. That leads on neatly to the Blair-directed examination of propaganda wars in the third instalment.
Other big name reporters featured include Kate Adie, John Simpson and Rageh Omaar of the BBC, US veteran Walter Cronkite, Sixty Minutes reporter Morley Safer, The Guardian's Maggie O'Kane, ITN's Mike Nicholson and Martin Bell as well as editors such as Max Hastings and Chris Cramer, managing director of CNN International.