Swarthmore College Department of

Peace & Conflict Studies Blog

Conflict Education through Student Journalism

Emily Hagar ’10 has contributed an essay to the Harvard Educational Review about her experience as a War News Radio journalist. A brief excerpt follows below. You may read an adaptation of the essay on the Swarthmore College website.


It is one o’clock in the morning, and all I want to do is go to bed. I’ve been at War News Radio since 11:30 p.m., trying to get through to Afghanistan to do an interview with Shukria Barakzai, one of the first female Afghan politicians. But it’s Eid al-Fitr, a holiday, and all the working phone lines in Afghanistan are tied up with people calling their family and friends to celebrate. I dial the number on the phone card, wait, and dial the number I have for Ms. Barakzai.

Emily HagarFinally, the phone rings and she picks up. “Is this still an alright time for you to do the interview?” I ask. And from the other side of the world, she says yes. For her, it’s 10:30 a.m., a normal hour to work. As we talk, she tells me about her experiences as a politician and as a woman, her concerns about Afghanistan’s elections next year, her frustration with the corruption she sees in the Afghan government, and her hopes for the future of her country. In listening to her stories, all of my own frustrations-with the late hour, with the nonfunctional phone lines, with the recording equipment-melt away, and I remember why I am still here in the recording booth at War News Radio, even at one o’clock in the morning.? … Read more