From the producers of FRONTLINE, a series
from a new generation of video journalists.
Stories From a Small Planet
ANNOUNCER: Tonight on FRONTLINE/WORLD, three stories
from a small planet.
First, a report from the Philippines.
ORLANDO DE GUZMAN: The MILF is waging a classic,
guerrilla warfare. They come in, hit these villages hard
and then split.
ANNOUNCER: Why are U.S. troops involved in this civil
Next, in the West Bank, where journalists have come under fire
from the Israeli army.
NAEL SHYOUKI, Reuters: The moment they took positions,
they just start firing towards us.
DANNY SEAMAN, Israeli Press Officer: We try to educate
them that its unacceptable that the journalists be
beaten, that the journalists be injured in any way.
ANNOUNCER: And finally, Bhutan, the last country in
the world to get television.
RINZY DORJI, Co-Owner of SIGMA Cable: We are tuning
DAGO BIDA, Bhutanese Businesswoman: People who come
here to Bhutan, they all fall in love with Bhutan. Theyve
always told me, "Dont bring television into the country."
KINLEY DORJI, Editor of Bhutans Only Newspaper:
Why are these big men standing there hitting each other?
I mean, whats the purpose of it?
Philippines: Islands Under Siege
Reported by Orlando de Guzman
ORLANDO DE GUZMAN, Reporter: [voice-over] The
Southeast Asian nation of the Philippines is an archipelago
of over 7,000 islands. Im traveling to the southernmost
I grew up in a town 800 miles to the north. Mindanao, to me,
feels like another country. As in the rest of the Philippines,
90 percent of the people here are Christians, but minority Muslims,
or Moros, have been fighting a guerrilla war to turn Mindanao
into an Islamic state. The Philippine government has resisted.
Now they say their soldiers need Americas help to defeat
My first stop is the town of Jolo.
[on camera] Today it was announced just as I got off
the boat that the joint U.S. military exercises will be happening
here in Jolo. And over here is one of the first messages youll
see as you enter town.
[sign: We will not let history repeat itself. Yankees back
[voice-over] The people here have always resisted outsiders.
For three centuries, the Spanish colonizers were unable to subdue
Mindanaos Muslims. A hundred years ago, when the United
States drove the Spanish from the Philippines, the Americans
succeeded in conquering Mindanao, but not before the Moros mounted
a fierce and bloody resistance. In the Moro-American war, the
U.S. massacred thousands of Muslims.
[www.pbs.org: More on U.S.-Philippines history]
At a local radio station, tribal singers protest the second
coming of America.
SINGER: [subtitles] The Americans are coming
back again. They want to take back the Philippines. But
the Muslims keep on waging war. The Americans do not follow
the Divine Law. They will steal our independence.
ORLANDO DE GUZMAN: When the Americans first came here,
Mindanao was almost entirely Muslim. The central government
urged many Christian immigrants to settle here, and after World
War II, Mindanao was formally annexed. Muslim rebels still insist
all of Mindanao belongs to them, but the government says it
cannot afford to lose resource-rich Mindanao. It supplies around
half of the Philippines export revenue.
By far the largest and best-armed Muslim rebel group is the
MILF, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.
I arrived in March, as the Philippine government was conducting
a major offensive. Peace talks had broken down. There were gun
battles every day, and we heard news of an ongoing battle in
the village of Baliki.
[on camera] So theres been some fighting just
down the road here, and over here are some families trying to
leave the fighting. So theyre on their way out.
[subtitles] Are you evacuating?
WOMAN: [subtitles] Yes, we are evacuating.
ORLANDO DE GUZMAN: [subtitles] Why?
WOMAN: Because of the intense fighting up ahead. Dont
pass that road. You might get caught in a crossfire. Go this
ORLANDO DE GUZMAN: [voice-over] The first line
of defense for Christian villages in Mindanao are government-armed
civilian militias. In Baliki, I went to talk to their captain.
[subtitles] What happened earlier?
VILLAGE CAPTAIN: [subtitles] We were tired from
last nights patrol and I was asleep. Suddenly, we were
awakened by a loud gunshot.
ORLANDO DE GUZMAN: [subtitles] Whos on
the other side? Who is the enemy?
VILLAGE CAPTAIN: [subtitles] The MILF.
ORLANDO DE GUZMAN: [voice-over] But often outgunned,
the militias have to call in the Philippine military for assistance.
[on camera] The Philippine army is having to fight the
MILF in places like this. The MILF is waging a classic guerrilla
warfare. They come in, hit these villages hard. So what the
army is trying to do is drive them out of here.
[voice-over] Skirmishes such as this one often end in
bloodshed. During this assault, 17 Christian civilians were
injured in a nearby town.
[on camera] Whenever theres any kind of fighting
here, theres always the spectators, the curious spectators
who just want to watch whats happening.
[voice-over] This day, the enemy remained elusive. In
fact, the military seldom does more than keep the MILF at bay.
At the end of the day, the villages are left back in the hands
of armed civilians, at risk of being attacked again. Farmers
work the fields armed with guns.
FARMER: [subtitles] Were scared. The MILF
fire at us because they want us to leave our fields. It would
be better if they only attacked the military, instead of civilians.
We just want to earn a living. We dont want trouble.
ORLANDO DE GUZMAN: [subtitles] But the Muslims
say the Christians are grabbing the land.
FARMER: [subtitles] No. This land here, this
is ours. There are no Muslims here.
ORLANDO DE GUZMAN: [voice-over] The conflict
has also come to the cities. On April 2nd, a bomb exploded in
the mostly Christian city of Davao. Sixteen people were killed.
The government claimed the bombing was carried out by the MILF,
with the help of Jemaah Islamiya, the group responsible for
the Bali nightclub bombing. I arrived in Davao the day after
The MILF is suspected of 20 bombings throughout Mindanao this
year alone, resulting in numerous deaths. But the MILF typically
denies any involvement.
Muslims are also victims of violence. A few hours after the
Davao bombing, unidentified men in fatigues attacked three nearby
mosques with hand grenades. An imam told me that Muslims are
suffering the most in this war. The numbers bear him out. While
hundreds of Christians are driven from their villages by the
MILF, tens of thousands of Muslims have fled their homes because
of the military offensives.
They seek refuge in evacuation centers. Some refugees have
been here for the last three years. They now number 320,000.
Its a miserable life in these centers. Since February,
54 refugees have died of illness. Food is scarce.
I went along with these Muslim refugees as they returned to
their homes to scavenge for crops theyd abandoned during
the fighting. When we arrived, the village was still an active
combat zone and troops patrolled the area for MILF rebels.
[on camera] So this area is still a very hostile place.
The Philippine army officer here was telling these villagers
not to venture out too far because the troops might mistake
them for MILF rebels.
[voice-over] I spoke to some of the residents.
VILLAGE MAN: [subtitles] I dont know why
this happened. The soldiers, they said they didnt burn
any of our homes. But now look, our homes are gone.
ORLANDO DE GUZMAN: [voice-over] Most of the homes
were destroyed. Another man found his home vandalized by the
military with anti-MILF graffiti. Most Muslims feel theyre
at the mercy of the Philippine military. Although they wont
say it openly, they view the MILF as a legitimate organization
that defends their communities and their faith.
Through our contacts, I arranged for a meeting with the MILFs
military chief. I grabbed my flak jacket. And my producer, Margarita
Dragon, was told she was required to wear a head scarf. We set
out on a journey to MILF-controlled territory.
[on camera] When I was growing up here in the Philippines,
my parents never let me ride on top of these jeepneys because
its just too dangerous. But this gives you the best view
of the countryside. My MILF contacts havent exactly told
me where were heading, but for the past hour, weve
been going up this very rough road.
[www.pbs.org: Read the reporters diary]
[voice-over] When the road ended, we set off for a long
hike deep into rebel-held territory. These mountain slopes mark
the end of government control and the start of MILF country,
an area called Camp Abubakar. Abubakar spans 12,000 acres and
once had more than 10,000 Muslim residents. It had a Sharia
court, a jail, several mosques and schools. But in the year
2000, in what was called the "all-out war," the Philippine government
destroyed key sections of Abubakar.
Although pushed underground, the MILF still controls most of
their former territory. Like many revolutionary groups, it relies
on a rotating volunteer force. Our guides are MILF members who
reside in the city but come up to the mountains to serve their
tour of duty in Abubakar.
[on camera] So these are our guides for today. Theyve
had to cover up so nobody would recognize them.
He says there was an ambush not too long ago here. Three soldiers
[voice-over] Most of the villagers here have fled. But
on our way up, we met an old man who refused to leave even though
the military destroyed his home. I asked him why he decided
not to move to the city, like many others.
OLD MAN: [subtitles] We wont have anything
to live on in the city. We cant grow corn. Its difficult.
You dont have any livestock. You dont have money.
We cant earn a living, nothing. Weve been here for
ORLANDO DE GUZMAN: [subtitles] Do the people
here feel like theyre fighting for the land?
OLD MAN: [subtitles] No, they are fighting for
ORLANDO DE GUZMAN: [voice-over] He showed me
what was left of his home. He said hell be ready the next
time the military comes. This 70-year-old man just bought a
rifle and says hes prepared to fight.
Later, we met up with armed MILF soldiers who were sent to
meet and escort us deeper into the jungle. After 14 hours of
hiking, we reached this, an empty concrete house. It looked
like nothing to me, but i was told it was once MILF headquarters.
The house was bombed and overrun by the government during the
"all-out war." Since then, the rebels have quietly retaken large
sections of Abubakar, and they hang on to this house as a symbol
of their strength. I couldnt help feeling that this empty
house was more a symbol of isolation than strength.
Nearby, a unit gathered to renew their pledge for jihad against
the government. The local field commander is a man known only
by his radio code name, "Congressman."
"CONGRESSMAN": [subtitles] What we want to achieve
is independence for the Moro people. If we cant get it,
we would rather die here, where we were born.
ORLANDO DE GUZMAN: Congressman has been fighting for
30 years. After two days of listening to MILF grievances, I
still hadnt met their chief military commander. Suddenly,
we were told to go back to the city and wait.
I returned to Cotabato, a city where the population is split
50/50 between Christian and Muslim. Cotabato lies in a province
where the MILF is very active. I went to talk to the governor,
Emmanuel Piñol. Hes strongly critical of the MILF,
especially their tactics.
Governor EMMANUEL PIÑOL: Representing legitimate
grievances of the Moro people is one thing. Killing civilians
by bombings, killing civilians by burning them alive is another.
Within the MILF is a group that is holding sway right now that
will not be contented with anything less than an Islamic state
and who are linked to the al Qaeda and Jemaah Islamiya. Where
are they going to establish an Islamic state? How do you come
up with an independent Islamic state with the presence of Christians
in Mindanao? Its going to be a messy problem.
ORLANDO DE GUZMAN: Finally, we received word that Al
Haj Murad, the MILFs military chief was ready to see us.
Our meeting took place only a short distance away from a highway
heavily guarded by the government.
Since the all-out war in 2000, Al Haj Murad has not been interviewed
or publicly seen in Mindanao. My producer, Margarita, negotiated
this exclusive interview when she met with Murad a few months
Like other leaders of the MILF, Al Haj Murad, one of its founders,
is a former mujahedeen who fought the Soviets in Afghanistan.
Murad says he met bin Laden there in the 1980s, and he says
the MILF receives donations from Muslims around the world. Last
month, the Philippine government put a million-dollar bounty
on Murad. Hes wanted for murder and for bombings like
the one i saw in Davao.
Surrounded by his soldiers, we talked over lunch. He told me
that under Islamic rule, Mindanaos Christians will be
free to stay or go, but he was uncompromising on the MILFs
demand for control of all of Mindanao. And he said his soldiers
are not terrorists.
AL HAJ MURAD: It is very possible that there will be
a time they will declare us as terrorists. They will influence
the U.S. to declare us as terrorists. But you see, declaring
a certain group as a terrorist does not mean the end of everything
because it may affect in some manner the operation of the organization,
but the existence of the organization is not-- will not be affected.
Our strategy is, we e try very much to avoid being declared
as a terrorist because we are not really terrorists.
ORLANDO DE GUZMAN: [on camera] But several security
analysts and intelligence people have pointed out to links between
the MILF and known terrorist groups like Jemaah Islamiya.
AL HAJ MURAD: The MILF is one organization who sent
our people to Afghanistan to fight alongside with the Afghan
people against Russia. So from there, our people were able to
mingle in some-- in Afghanistan. So they have created some personal
relationship. But as to actual relationship of organization,
connections of organization, there is no actual connection of
We are fighting on our own. We are-- our objective is to achieve
the aspiration of the Moro people. We are not concerned with
the objective of the brothers in Indonesia, in Malaysia or in
other region, in the Middle East. We are-- we are concentrated
only on the aspiration of the Moro people.
ORLANDO DE GUZMAN: What do you think of these joint
U.S. military exercises possibly happening in central Mindanao?
AL HAJ MURAD: We have nothing against the U.S. government.
We are not fighting the U.S. government. We hope that, finally,
the U.S. will realize that not all the Muslims are terrorists
and they cannot equate Islam to terrorism, and the problem here
in Mindanao cannot be a part of the fight against global terrorism.
This is a local problem, domestic problem. And the U.S. forces
should not be dragged into this conflict because it would only--
it would only complicate more the situation.
ORLANDO DE GUZMAN: [voice-over] American troops
are back in the Philippines. We filmed them as they trained
Filipino soldiers not far from the capital, Manila. But soon
these military exercises will move to Mindanao, in areas where
the MILF is active. The U.S. is coming just as the conflict
is escalating. In the last few weeks, the Philippine government
has launched attacks on some of the same MILF positions we had
visited. Thirty thousand more civilians have been displaced.
The U.S. sees this as part of its global war against terrorism.
The Philippine government, seeking American support, is offering
the MILF as the next terrorist group. But if history is any
guide, itll be a long and dirty conflict. For the people
of Mindanao, a protracted war will certainly mean more suffering
and deepening hatred between Christians and Muslims.
ANNOUNCER: Coming up later, Bhutan. What happens when
television arrives in a remote Buddhist kingdom?
But first, one of the most dangerous places in the world for
[originally broadcast March 20, 2003]
Israel/Occupied Territories: In the Line
Reported by Patricia Naylor
PATRICIA NAYLOR, Reporter: [voice-over] I was
working in Jerusalem when the second intifada broke out. Im
a Canadian TV journalist. This is a story that started for me
one day in 2001, when I drove into the heart of the West Bank,
to Hebron. Its a city of more than 150,000 Palestinians,
with a small enclave of 400 Jewish settlers guarded by Israeli
Tensions between the Palestinians and settlers have always
made this city extremely volatile. There were frequent clashes
between Palestinians, settlers, and the Israeli soldiers stationed
As I watched the scenes that would become the images that the
world sees on the evening news, I found myself also watching
the cameramen who take these pictures. Here, most of them are
Palestinians working for international news agencies. Id
once worked with one of them, Mazen Dana, who was with the British
news agency Reuters, together with his partner, Nael Shyouki.
This time Dana was lucky, just a few cuts from flying glass.
After the clash ended, the cameramen told me they werent
always this lucky. They all had stories of coming under fire
from Israeli soldiers, of being hit with rubber bullets and
sometimes live ammunition.
PHOTOGRAPHER: All of the Palestinian here, journalists,
were injured by the soldiers and by Jewish settlers. [sound
of gunfire] Excuse me. Be careful!
PATRICIA NAYLOR: Amer Jabari said he had many rubber
bullets to his head. Hes the cameraman for ABC News. More
shots to his legs, shot three times in the arm.
Hazem Bader, a cameraman for Associated Press, said hed
had bullets to his leg, shot in his camera hand while filming.
And another day, soldiers turned on him, and his front teeth
were punched out.
Out of desperation, the cameramen told me, they made a pact.
Whenever one of them was being attacked, the others would film.
They offered to show me their private video collection, images
that rarely make the news.
NAEL SHYOUKI: Watch this.
PATRICIA NAYLOR: On this tape, the cameramen were being
harassed by Israeli settlers, some of them children. They tried
to stop them from filming.
On another tape, the cameraman for French television defended
himself against Israeli settlers. Mazen Dana started filming
the attack. Things got worse. Dana turned his camera back on
to record the cameraman being loaded into an ambulance. He had
been beaten unconscious.
When the current intifada began in the fall of 2000, the cameramen
said, the attacks became more frequent. Mazen Dana was shot
two days in a row.
But of all the videotaped shootings, the one I found most disturbing
was Nael Shyoukis from 1998, before the current intifada.
On this night, Israeli settlers in Hebron marched down Palestinian
streets. Soldiers forced them home. When the streets fell quiet,
the cameramen stood on the sidewalk, making plans to leave.
NAEL SHYOUKI: This is the moment when the soldier comes
to shoot. Thats when Im shot. First this one. First
PATRICIA NAYLOR: Lying on the ground, he was shot a
NAEL SHYOUKI: I felt, you know, dizzy. I couldnt--
the moment I was about to go down, he shot me one more time
in my back. And it was very strong one.
PATRICIA NAYLOR: The cameramen were shouting, "We are
journalists!" Finally, one cameraman managed to drag him to
safety. As they rushed him to hospital, others turned on their
cameras to document the soldiers at the scene.
Three years after he was shot, Shyouki took me to the scene
to show me where he was standing. He said that night, the soldiers
were less than 100 feet away.
NAEL SHYOUKI: And the moment they took positions, they
start firing towards us. Everybody hide, and start scream, "We
are journalists!" We spoke in Hebrew. We spoke in English. Everybody.
We shout a lot. I guess the whole mountain, this mountain, heard
our voice, everybody in this area, except these soldiers. They
didnt want to hear. They just kept shooting and shooting
PATRICIA NAYLOR: He told me eight journalists were shot
that night, including Mazen Dana.
MAZEN DANA: I lost my camera. Im trying to pull
Nael. I have bullet here. So I came back here, and I have bullet
in my shoulder.
PATRICIA NAYLOR: They had been hit with rubber bullets,
which are used for crowd control. But these Israeli-made bullets
have a steel core. They can be deadly at close range.
NAEL SHYOUKI: [pulling up shirt] Thats
the metal, this thing.
PATRICIA NAYLOR: At the time of Shyoukis shooting,
Palestinian and Israeli journalists united in protest.
NAEL SHYOUKI: There were many voices asked for investigation.
And even the Israeli journalists, they came here in solidarity
with us, and they said, "Its a clear crime that the army
targeted a journalist.
PATRICIA NAYLOR: Other Israeli journalists had their
own stories to tell. Photographer Avichai Nitzan is still haunted
by the words of a doctor.
AVICHAI NITZAN: Ill never forget that. He said,
"You were very lucky." The bullet stopped two millimeters from
the main artery to the legs. Had it gone in another two millimeters,
I would probably not be talking right now with you.
PATRICIA NAYLOR: Nitzan says the soldier didnt
realize he was Israeli.
AVICHAI NITZAN: I was standing with another five or
six Palestinian photographers. And the soldiers hate the Palestinian
photographers. For the soldier, I know from later, he told people
when they stopped him, that he thought it was a Palestinian
photographer. And then he saw me being dragged over to his side.
And then he understood that I was of his own religion and served
in the same army as he did and had a girlfriend and stuff. So
I think thats when it hit him, because as long as it was
an Arab, he didnt really care.
PATRICIA NAYLOR: The army immediately investigated and
concluded Nitzan had been reckless. He says the report was completely
inaccurate, and hes now suing the Israeli army.
When I returned to Jerusalem, I wanted to talk about the shootings
with foreign reporters. This is the building where international
television networks base their correspondents. In the offices
of TF-1, I found Bertrand Agierre. He told me he was shot covering
a rally in the West Bank city of Ramallah. Agierre had just
finished his report and the rally was ending, when a soldier
from the border police got out of his Jeep and fired. A live
bullet hit Agierre squarely in the chest. He was only saved
by his bulletproof vest.
Images of his shooting were broadcast around the world. The
Israeli government investigated and concluded there was not
enough evidence to act.
REPORTERS WITHOUT BORDERS SPOKESMAN: [news conference]
--for abusive and dangerous behavior by soldiers--
PATRICIA NAYLOR: There were so many shootings of journalists
that a French group, Reporters Without Borders, came to Israel
to hold a news conference. The group documented 40 shootings
of journalists in the first months of the intifada. Danny Seaman,
the Israeli official in charge of all foreign press, responded
to their report.
DANNY SEAMAN, Israeli Press Officer: [news conference]
Threats, injury or harm to members of the media, whether
intentional or by error, are unacceptable. The state of
Israel regrets any injury caused to journalists as a result
of actions by our forces or individuals within our forces.
PATRICIA NAYLOR: After the news conference, I met with
DANNY SEAMAN: We try to educate them that its
unacceptable that the journalists be beaten, that the journalists
be injured, that they be abused in any way. To prevent every
one of these cases, were not going to be able to do that.
PATRICIA NAYLOR: Seaman agreed to watch one shooting,
one hed never seen before, Nael Shyoukis.
DANNY SEAMAN: We dont see here where he was shot
from, who shot him. A lot of people have-- oh, geez! What hit
him, a bullet or a rubber bullet? Does anybody know? A rubber
Im sorry. Certainly, Im sorry. I wish he didnt
have to go through this. But this I say personally, not as an
official person, because it always has other connotations as
a government-- I dont think anything I say is-- Im
sorry this had to happen to him. I wish it didnt have
to happen. I wish the circumstances werent such. I dont
think anything I say is going to make him feel better.
[www.pbs.org: Read the interview]
PATRICIA NAYLOR: [on camera] He says even an
DANNY SEAMAN: Yeah. I dont think he means my apology.
I know what he means. Maybe that will happen.
PATRICIA NAYLOR: [voice-over] That was all a
year ago. Since then, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has escalated.
Suicide bombers intensified their deadly campaign. The Israeli
army invaded most of the West Bank. Since the beginning of the
intifada, more than 600 Israelis and more than 1,700 Palestinians
Covering the conflict has become even more dangerous for journalists.
While filming a protest near Bethlehem, a BBC crew came under
BBC REPORTER: [voice-over] And then the army
turned their guns toward us as we filmed.
BBC CREW: OK. OK! Were going! Were going!
BBC REPORTER: More gunfire, even as we scrambled
for our car. Then we were pinned down. In the end, they
forced us to go on foot.
[www.pbs.org: Most dangerous places for journalists]
PATRICIA NAYLOR: An NBC crew was also shot at in Ramallah.
BRIAN WILLIAMS, NBC Anchor: --NBC news vehicles
containing correspondent Dana Lewis.
DANA LEWIS, Correspondent: Israeli soldiers stepped
out in front of us, opened fire on the front of the vehicle,
bullets hitting the windshield, the front grill. We stopped,
turned on the light inside so he could see we were journalists,
in case he didnt already know. We put up our hands--
10, 15 seconds of silence, and then he opened fire again.
TOM BROKAW, NBC Anchor: [Committee to Protect
Journalists ceremony] The personal perils of this calling
PATRICIA NAYLOR: In the United States, the Committee
to Protect Journalists warns of "a growing animosity in Israel
toward the media" and has protested the shootings. At their
20th anniversary ceremony in New York, they honored Mazen Dana
with the Press Freedom Award, recognizing that he kept powerful
images in the public eye despite great physical risk to himself.
Several months later, I went back to Hebron to see Mazen Dana.
He was still working for Reuters, and he told me that while
filming Israeli bulldozers from inside this apartment building,
he was almost killed.
MAZEN DANA: I moved from here, going up to the stairs
there, and they start shooting. The soldier in front of us,
they saw us clearly. Just I turn a little bit, I found the bullet
coming from here and entered the camera in between.
PATRICIA NAYLOR: The bullet struck his camera, just
missing his head.
MAZEN DANA: Really, I thought that God give me a new
PATRICIA NAYLOR: Troubled by what Dana told me, I went
to see his boss in Jerusalem. Tim Heritage is the Reuters bureau
TIM HERITAGE, Jerusalem Bureau Chief, Reuters: We have
an incident a week, probably, where someone gets shot at. We
routinely protest, dont really hear anything back from
the army. We demand investigations, dont really get very
PATRICIA NAYLOR: I ask him why he thinks this is happening.
TIM HERITAGE: Why are we being shot at? Because they
dont want us going places. They dont want us doing
things. They dont like us. They dont want-- theres
obviously a lot of things they dont want happening. They
dont want us getting into the war zone or whatever [unintelligible]
Im not sure its a deliberate policy or anything.
I dont know if other people suggest this to you, but I
think its just more haphazard, and theres a lack
of control. Theres a lack of-- theres a lack of
sense of being punished if you do it. And we regard it at Reuters
as, you know, a gross violation of media freedoms. I mean, these
are journalists going about their job and being prevented doing
PATRICIA NAYLOR: During all the time I reported this
story, I made numerous attempts to interview the Israeli army.
They refused to discuss the shootings. So I went back to talk
to Danny Seaman, the head of the Israeli press office. After
all the violence of the past year, I found his attitude had
DANNY SEAMAN: Im not worried about the press,
freedom of the press. If theres any limitations to it,
itll be restored. Any freedom can be restored. The lives
of Israelis cannot be restored.
PATRICIA NAYLOR: In times of war, Seaman says, press
freedom cannot be the top priority.
DANNY SEAMAN: Theres a war against the state of
Israel. Theres a war on the survival of the state of Israel
by the Palestinians. Theres no comparison between the
Palestinian uprising or violence of 12 years ago and whats
been going on in the past two years. The past two years has
been an assault against the state of Israel. Its combat.
PATRICIA NAYLOR: It has always been hard to report the
Israeli-Palestinian conflict, hard to tell both sides of this
bitter struggle. Now its going to be harder still, and
the toll on journalists has been profound.
Nael Shyouki has moved away from Hebron, to Bethlehem, where
there are no Israeli settlers and few clashes. He never did
get his apology.
Danny Seaman took away his press card, along with all the other
Palestinian journalists working in the West Bank.
NAEL SHYOUKI: Im stuck in Bethlehem, nowhere to
go. Im wasnt-- not free, like before. I used to
work in Jerusalem and one day in Tel Aviv, and go to Ramallah.
But thats not anymore. Youre stuck in one place
24 hours, all the time. You can only work in this place. You
cannot cover any other story outside.
PATRICIA NAYLOR: But for Mazen Dana, the loss is even
greater. He is no longer a cameraman. His bosses at Reuters
decided the only way to keep him safe was to take him off the
street. Hell be retrained as an editor.
MAZEN DANA: My family happy about this, but really,
Im not happy because I like camera and I like it here.
When I want to leave camera, I want to leave it by myself, not
to be forced to leave it.
PATRICIA NAYLOR: The group that recognized Danas
bravery, the Committee to Protect Journalists, says this battle
is only becoming more difficult to cover because the soldiers
are sometimes violent, and the Israeli government restricts
the media. Mazen Dana had no choice but to get out of the line
[Since we first broadcast this story, two
cameramen working in the West Bank and Gaza have been shot and
killed. Nazeh Darwazeh, Associated Press Television News, April
19, 2003. James Miller, British documentary filmmaker, May 2,
ANNOUNCER: Finally tonight, Bhutan discovers cable TV.
Bhutan: The Last Place
Reported by Alexis Bloom
ALEXIS BLOOM, Reporter: [voice-over] Bhutan is
a Himalayan kingdom tucked between China and India, a seemingly
magical place that has for centuries secluded itself from the
rest of the world, a place with no traffic lights and no fast-food
chains, a country with more monks than soldiers, where its
law to wear traditional dress in public places. This tiny country
of less than a million people has guarded its culture from outside
DAGO BIDA, Bhutanese Businesswoman: People who come
here to Bhutan, they all fall in love with Bhutan. Why? Because
we have a beautiful country. We have a rich tradition, rich
culture, unspoiled. People who travel to Bhutan cannot believe
that there is a country still left in the world which is almost
untouched. And time and again, theyve always told me,
they said, "Dont bring television into the country."
ALEXIS BLOOM: But in June, 1999, Bhutan did bring television
into the country. After years of cultural protectionism, TV
was legalized by royal decree, the last place on earth to hook
up to the box. We found the man who the Bhutanese call the "cable
guy," Rinzy Dorji. Just a few years ago, he hardly knew how
a television worked.
RINZY DORJI, Co-Owner of SIGMA Cable: I thought, "How
is it possible that pictures were just coming out there, without
any tape being played there?" Then, of course, I tried to find
out how it was coming, and this, that. Then I said it is a wonderful
technology that is broadcasting from somewhere else and that
everybody could see on the television set.
We are tuning the TV.
ALEXIS BLOOM: We watched Rinzy wiring up homes every
day-- 45 channels for just $5 a month, everything from the BBC
to Baywatch, all for the same price as a bag of dried
But not everyone welcomes the new entrepreneurs.
KINLEY DORJI, Editor of Bhutans Only Newspaper:
These are businesspeople. These are not even technicians, these
are businesspeople who want to sell. And they will broadcast.
They will show anything they want.
RINZY DORJI: There are good things, as well as bad things.
But as a cable operator, I cant selectively give programs
because the demand is such that some parents would like to have
some programs which are not good for others.
ALEXIS BLOOM: Rinzy invited us to his family home. In
the back yard, five satellite dishes receive signals from all
over the world. Beneath the living room, racks of receivers
and decks have taken the place of traditional livestock. The
family home has become central control.
RINZY DORJI: With this setting that we have at the moment,
its good for 33 channels. Once we go on expanding, then
we would require more space and more equipment and more racks.
ALEXIS BLOOM: But Rinzys mother-in-law was skeptical.
DAMCHOE DEM, Rinzys Mother-in-Law: [subtitles]
At first I told them this venture was risky. "What if the people
dont want TV? How will you get your money back?" But everybody
wants to watch TV, and I feel their business will do very well.
LYONPO JIGMI THINLEY, Bhutans Foreign Minister:
I think people have suddenly realized that there are so many
things that they desire which they were not even aware of before.
And the truth is that most of these television channels are
commercially driven. And so the Bhutanese people are, yes, driven
towards consumerism. Thats inevitable. And thats
to some extent unfortunate, but inevitable.
NONO, Rinzys Eldest Son: When I come home from
school, I change my clothes and go straight to the TV room and
watch television. I watch Cartoon Network and check if there
is wrestling in Star Sports. When its my exam time, I
could not study because of thinking about the cartoon characters
and the superstars of the wrestling.
TINTIN, Rinzys Youngest Son: [subtitles]
When we had no TV, I used to play with my dog a lot, but now
I prefer to watch television. When my elder sister puts on MTV,
I jump up and try to switch it to the Cartoon Network.
DAMCHOE DEM: [subtitles] As I watch the events
unfold on TV, I get carried away and lost. I forget to count
my prayer beads. The mind is such a thing. Why wouldnt
the children find TV entertaining? Even we elders get engrossed
and forget our religious duty.
KHENPO PHUTSHOTASHI, Buddhist Monk: Television introduced
only last year. Everybody, one thing, is curious to see what
is happening. They have never seen-- especially monks. They
have never seen television in their life, so they are curious,
you know, very much curious to know, "What is that?"
I noticed that the last week, when I was with my brother and
watching television, so sometimes I forget my prayers things,
like, you know? So sometimes its disturbing this TV, these
kinds of TV. So I thought maybe better not to have myself.
KINLEY DORJI: Soon after television started, we started
getting letters to the editor for the newspaper from children,
children who seemed very hurt. The letters actually specifically
asked about this World Wrestling Federation program. "Why are
these big men standing there hitting each other? I mean, whats
the purpose of it?" They didnt understand it. They were
Now, a few months later-- one morning, I mean, a personal example,
one of my sons, 7 years old, jumped on me early in the morning
on the bed and he says, "Hey, I am Triple H. You can be Rock,
and we are fighting." Suddenly, these were new heroes for our
[www.pbs.org: More reactions from Bhutan]
LYONPO JIGMI THINLEY, Bhutans Foreign Minister:
The government has requested the cable operators that they should,
to the extent possible, exercise discretion on their part. But
its easier said than done. With all these satellite dishes
that are available, it will be difficult to control.
ALEXIS BLOOM: And so the light of 45 channels flickers,
and the Bhutanese tune in to the rest of the world.
LYONPO JIGMI THINLEY: I have myself heard comments from
people saying that, "My God, we didnt know that we were
living in such a peaceful country. There seems to be violence
and crime everywhere around the world." So in a way, the positive
thing is that Bhutanese people realize how good a life they
are living in this country.
ISLANDS UNDER SIEGE
Orlando de Guzman
Co-production of FRONTLINE/World and Rain Media
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MICHAEL H. AMUNDSON
THE LAST PLACE
UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism
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ANNOUNCER: [subtitles] Theres more of the
world to explore on our Web site, including a timeline of U.S.
involvement in the Philippines, a report on hazards facing journalists
in Palestinian-controlled zones, and an interview with Bhutans
cable guy. Discuss the world and tell us what you think of our
Stories From a Small Planet at pbs.org.
Next time on FRONTLINE/WORLD: Venezuela, an oil supplier to
the U.S. in turmoil over a controversial president.
REPORTER: She says Chavez is more important than
God because he is the hope of the people.
ANNOUNCER: And in India, Osama bin Laden surfaces in
a Bengali street opera.
These stories and more on the next FRONTLINE/WORLD.
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