Home' Army News : April 14th 2011 Contents FEATURES 31
Army April 14, 2011
BETWEEN them, Ten
Network's political editor
Hugh Riminton and camer-
aman/editor Chris Campey
have more than 40 years' experience
in the media industry.
As members of the Fourth Estate,
their job in Afghanistan was to inform
and influence the public's opinion on
the ADF's role.
Throughout his career, Riminton
has worked for CNN, covered stories
from numerous conflict zones and was
embedded with US troops in Iraq.
"When I came back to Australia
after working overseas, the ADF had
a terrible reputation among Defence
journalists," Riminton said.
"The journalists felt overly con-
trolled and censored, so it was a very
"When I arrived in Afghanistan,
I was briefed and given a sophisti-
cated understanding of what was hap-
pening on the ground and what the
ADF was trying to achieve. I'm happy
to say that my perspective, about the
way Defence deals with media, has
changed for the better."
Campey recently worked with the
ADF during Operation Pakistan Assist
II, but this was his first assignment in
a conflict zone.
"I saw this assignment as an oppor-
tunity to tell things from a different
perspective. I wanted to capture the
stories that linked people to their envi-
ronments and illustrate the big picture
through small faces," Campey said.
Accompanied by Public Affairs
Officer Maj (then Capt) Lachlan
Simond, the reporters experienced life
in overnight harbours and witnessed
Australian troops uncover weapon
caches during Operation Boston.
They also encountered contacts
between Australian soldiers and insur-
gents at the isolated Combat Outpost
Mashal in the Baluchi Valley.
"Just for a moment, we expe-
rienced what they experience for
months on end," Riminton said.
"The soldiers displayed complete
professionalism. Their sense of focus
and purpose was tremendously high --
it was a privilege to walk with them."
Campey said he was struck by the
"These are young men, signing up
for weeks of sleeping in the dirt and
walking through dodgy territory with
minesweepers -- you realise just how
quickly they have had to grow up.
"The soldiers we spoke to were
very aware of their purpose. They're
not just looking for bad guys, they're
there to mentor and provide a better
framework for life in Afghanistan.
"Their big picture understanding
of the world drives them -- I find that
"Particularly when it's very easy to
turn on an iPod, tune out and avoid the
Riminton said he felt the war in
Afghanistan was under-reported and
the Australian public didn't understand
its complexities. He said for the war
to be successful, it needed to be dealt
with from the Afghan perspective.
"It grieves me we are involved in
a war where sacrifices by serving per-
sonnel are very real but the public has
no comprehension, and worse still, dis-
plays little interest in what's going on.
"My strong opinion is the military
doesn't go to war, the country does
and it's the public's duty to take an
"This trip has given me a deep-
er appreciation of the difficulties our
forces face and I now understand
why they remain optimistic about
While covering the crucial work of ADF members
in Afghanistan late last year, Cpl Melanie
Schinkel met two journalists from Australia's Ten
Network embedded with Australian soldiers and
followed their four-week journey.
Journalists on patrol
Embedded: Ten Network's political editor Hugh Riminton and cameraman/editor Chris Campey shoot cutaways
for one of their stories at a patrol base in Afghanistan.
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