Guardian Newspaper Internship: Guardian Films

Starting on May 16th and for the following month I attended a part-time internship (in-between my job as a magazine journalist), at Guardian Films, the documentary section of The Guardian newspaper. See this link, for online examples of their investigative film work on pressing issues from the effect of climate change on developing countries to crime & subterfuge in war-torn nations. My placement included a variety of tasks from providing filming assistance in London to a phone interview with a lawyer about nuclear power-plant security. During the first two weeks of the placement I was asked to help with the making of a documentary on the former US soldier, Bradley Manning.

Photo: AP

It was a privilege to be asked to assist with the production of an investigative film about the 23-year-old American accused of whistle-blowing to WikiLeaks. When posted as an army intelligence-analyst soldier, Bradley Manning is alleged to have released US military data on the Iraq war. One of the most famous leaks from the US military network is Apache helicopter video footage, named ‘Collateral Murder’, which shows the helicopter opening fire on innocent people and the pilots admiring their work, making comments such as ‘light em up.’ See video footage here:

Manning was arrested and charged with passing on a bulk of restricted national defense data to Julian Assange of Wikileaks, after admitting online to famous hacker Adrian Lamo that he sent the data on the Iraq war to reveal truths to the public and spark world debate. He’s certainly done that but at a huge cost to his personal life, he’s allegedly been tortured and has been in jail since 2010 and currently awaiting trial for 23 charges from the American government against him. Manning will be court-martialed in December 2011 and could face 52 years in prison.

Although uncredited on this documentary because I was helping as an intern, the production experience I received has been invaluable, with an opportunity to do vital internet, book & phone research, plus working on interview transcripts on a freelance basis. The revelations from the investigative film proved to be incredibly interesting, often harrowing and above all in the public interest to know. This documentary explores the personal angle to Manning’s story and the alleged mistakes of his military superiors’ handling of Manning’s post in the army due to his mental state at the time.

“The Madness of Bradley Manning?” Guardian Films:

2 Responses to “Guardian Newspaper Internship: Guardian Films”
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