Peter Preston

When press freedom faces the void

It was the last big British press crisis, when journalists sneaked into the hospital room of the gravely injured actor Gordon Kaye and snapped away.

Unsung reporters continue to die for freedom

Last Monday, the day dominated by Bin Laden's death, was also something you may have missed: World Press Freedom Day

US media renews its romance with the British royals

In the land of the free, United States broadcasters assumed viewers would be in thrall to the royal wedding.

Vietnam, minus the jungle

There is, said the American secretary of defence, no certainty "that a conventional military victory, as commonly defined, can be achieved here".

Playing the boycott game

You can write much of the script for London 2012 already: the tube strikes, the cost over-runs, the security computers that won't work and the Kazakh weightlifters lost in Terminal Five. But the real problem for the Olympic games we thought we wanted to host is beginning to emerge from the smog over Beijing.

Pakistan’s borderline problem

It's not just Bin Laden's deputy turning up on channel as-Sahab last week promising to pulverise the United Kingdom's honours committee for knighting Salman Rushdie, nor the self-same Ayman al-Zawahiri vowing revenge over the Red Mosque a couple of days later.

Will this presidential race throw up an American idol?

Consider the Jim Webb phenomenon. Two decades ago, he was a loyal Republican serving in the upper reaches of Ronnie Reagan's administration. Six months ago, he was a maverick sort-of-Democrat pitched into a losing Southern state fight against a hugely popular Republican senator planning to run for president. And now -- one televised speech later -- he seems to be the bloggers' top tip for the White House. Confused?

The shifting sands of history

Saddam Hussein has not got much joy from the obituary writers. He is hanged by the neck, and his death brings no mourning. Wrap the corpse in a flimsy sheet and bury it deep. But there's a problem to confront openly here: what the obituaries say today is almost certainly not what they'll say tomorrow.

The London legacy

Peter Preston, former editor of the Guardian, recalls the birth and growth of the Mail & Guardian.

Suffering the wrath of gods

''Disasters are always most poignant, most chilling, when you know the terrain and the people. So I had stood on the sea wall in Galle, watching kids fly kites, a few months before the tsunami engulfed the south of Sri Lanka. So I remember sitting in a waterfront square in New Orleans early -- too early,'' writes Peter Preston.

Don’t forget Gleneagles

So, in an instant, the pages of history were reordered. London bomb coverage, pages one to 16; Africa and climate change, pages 17 to 18. If the bombers wanted both to mark the G8 summit and push it into seeming irrelevance by blowing something up, then that was mission accomplished. But Africa was not, is not and will not be irrelevant.

Popcorn from the 9/11 rubble

Here, maybe, is the way the Hollywood world ends: not with a bang, but a stinker. Enter another bloated Spielberg epic, weighed down by -million in computer contrivances and syrupy strings. Stand by for one more dodgy attempt at putting HG Wells on screen. But this time, for this war of this world, there's a deeper difference.

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