UK conference on war coverage brings big names in news, film

The University of Kentucky will host a four-day conference next week focused on war coverage that will bring prominent figures in news, academia, international affairs and Hollywood to Lexington.

The conference on war, journalism and history, April 8-11, is a sequel to an event two years ago in Scotland and will be presented in cooperation with the University of Edinburgh's Centre for the Study of Two World Wars.

The big names scheduled to speak include: Tom Curley, president and chief executive of The Associated Press; photographer and filmmaker Molly Bingham; career U.S. Ambassador Ryan Clark Crocker; Robert Fisk, longtime Middle East correspondent for the British newspaper The Independent; Aberrahim Foukara, Washington bureau chief for Al Jazeera International; actor Steve Zahn; and Dale Dye, actor and war consultant to the film and TV industry.

The conference is free and open to the public.

Attendees "are going to get a chance to see and hear some real experts talk about some important issues about the coverage of wars around the world, about journalism and history and how our military and media cooperate and don't, as well as how foreign policy gets formed," said Terry Anderson, a UK journalism instructor and former chief correspondent for AP who was held hostage for seven years in Lebanon.

Anderson, who has organized the conference, was a participant in the November 2007 war and journalism event in Edinburgh and has recruited some of his friends and former colleagues to participate.

Dye, for instance, was a Marine staff sergeant with whom Anderson served in Vietnam. Dye has been a war consultant on dozens of films, including Platoon and The Pacific, HBO's miniseries follow-up to 2001's Band of Brothers.

Throughout the week of April 5-11, UK will have screenings of war movies including Platoon and Saving Private Ryan, which will be discussed in the event's final seminar, "War in Film." That panel will feature Bingham, Zahn and Dye, and war photographer and former soldier Steve Connors, who was co-producer and director with Bingham on Meeting Resistance, a documentary about Iraq.

For a complete schedule and information, go to