My Week In Media: Simon Reeve

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The Independent Online

Last week I read...

There was a great article by Timothy Garton Ash in The Guardian on Thursday under the headline "Europeans must never forget that we created the Middle East conflict". In daily newspapers there's always a tendency to just talk about what happened yesterday afternoon. But he asked whether the recent conflict began with Hizbollah's raid into northern Israel or the pogroms of Russia back in the spring of 1881. It's only when you bring in the historical context that you have any chance of understanding something like this. I also liked a Steve Bloomfield piece in The Independent, written from Kivu in Congo, below. My last trip took me through Congo and it is the scene of the most violent conflict on the planet since the Second World War. Four million people have died and yet no one seems to know about it. Thankfully there are elections coming and so we have a few articles about it, like this one.

Last week I watched...

A Company of Soldiers on BBC2 was an excellent documentary about a group of US soldiers in Iraq called Dog Company. It showed the soldiers were all quite human but, though the officers showed a bit of respect, the grunts didn't have much understanding of the Iraqi way of life and clearly hadn't been given much training in winning hearts and minds.

Last week I listened to...

Radio 4 is like wallpaper for me, I have it on almost all day and when I go abroad it's the thing I miss most after my family and friends. I like Eddie Mair on PM and You and Yours, which everybody else seems to hate. I hate The Archers.

Last week I surfed...

Arts and letters daily, which is at aldaily.com. It's a collection of all the "articles of note" as it puts it. It's really eclectic and saves having to buy all the expensive periodicals like the New York Review of Books. I particularly liked one piece that said America had the wild west but Canada had the mild west. That fitted my understanding of Canadians.

Equator, presented by Simon Reeve, is a new series of three 60-minute films, starting on BBC2 on 27 August

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