Why subscribe?

I am not a latest news reporter anymore, and I am not in Afghanistan at the moment.

But, like I say in my Ted Talk, the reporting on Afghanistan has left me worried, and that’s why I took on a PhD that studies my own profession, journalism.

My research on Afghanistan is the spine of my work, and I bring this 15 years of experience into academia. My Afghanistan experience provides important insights on the Western bias, and also what the bias created - suppressed knowledge that often relates to peace, or possibilities for de-escalating the conflict.

We the press overlooked essential peace-moments in the Afghan conflict, and I know not any news desks wants this to happen. In my PhD I dive deep into the field of journalism and try to find out how this was possible - and what are the possibly solutions. This biased coverage in Afghanistan backs previous studies done on the American media’s war reporting in the Arab world, but also on China and Russia, in which Western perspectives prevail and Western official sources play a crucial role in creating the dominant narrative.

In the coming years I will be often in New York, talking to the journalists involved, and address these issues. In this newsletter I will keep you up to date. I will also share ongoing research, including work of my students at Sciences Po.

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Every new edition of the newsletter goes directly to your inbox, but I am not sure how often. For now I foresee an irregular newsletter.

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I love this aspect of a newsletter. We can all be part of a community of people who share the interest for Afghanistan, who aim for responsible reporting, and want to gain informed insights. You are more then welcome to contribute too.

Subscribe to Bette’s Newsletter

This newsletter examines my current research on the extent to which there is a Western bias in the coverage of war and conflict among the American agenda-setting media, and how we can learn from this moving forward.


Investigative journalist, PhD at VUB, teacher at Sciences Po. Became a slow thinker after living in Afghanistan. Books: 'A Man and a Motorcycle' on Hamid Karzai, published in Dec '21: 'Looking for an enemy', on the life of mullah Omar.