Feature Speaker

Graeme Smith

(listen to Graeme Smith: The Dangerous and Confusing search for Truth in Afghanistan)

Graeme Smith has devoted more time to southern Afghanistan than any
Other Western journalist since the arrival of NATO forces in that region.

In 2007, Mr. Smith broke the story of how Canadian soldiers were turning prisoners over to Afghan authorities despite the knowledge that they were likely to be tortured. That story sparked an important debate inside Canada about the moral and legal parameters of our engagement in Afghanistan. It also caused the government to temporarily halt detainee transfers, as documents released in February show.

In 2009 Mr. Smith produced “Talking to the Taliban,” a multimedia journalism project that sought to give readers a deep understanding of the enemy that Canadian troops face in Afghanistan. Interviewing Taliban fighters is an extraordinarily difficult thing for Western journalists to do, as reporters are regularly kidnapped and sometimes killed. Mr. Smith did not let that deter him. He collaborated with a researcher to get the story; he trained the researcher in journalism techniques and devised a methodology that promised to deliver fair results. The final product is a six-part series that includes 42 raw unedited videos of interviews with Taliban fighters. It was published in the middle of an international debate about whether to launch official talks with the Taliban. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/talkingtothetaliban/

Graeme Smith attended Ryerson University’s journalism program from 1997
to 2001; during two of those years he interned at the Toronto Star.
Hired by The Globe and Mail in 2001, he was assigned to the Winnipeg
bureau in 2003 and the Moscow bureau in 2005. The war in southern
Afghanistan was his full-time project from 2006 to 2009.

Michelle Jean presents the 2008 award to La Presse journalists

His awards include the Canadian Association of Journalists’ prize for investigative reporting; the Edward Goff Penny Memorial Prize; the Amnesty International award for Canadian print journalism; a National Newspaper Award for international reporting; and the Michener Award.