Interview with Noel Bennell. Interview with William Roland Pinwill (Frontline out takes)

Place Asia: Vietnam, South Vietnam, Saigon
Accession Number F10539
Collection type Film
Measurement 14 min 47 sec
Object type Interview
Physical description 16mm/colour (Eastman)/sound
Maker Perry, David
Bennell, Noel
Pinwill, William Rowland (Bill)
Bradbury, David
Manning, Clifford
Place made Australia: New South Wales, Sydney
Date made 1978
Access Open
Conflict Period 1970-1979
Vietnam, 1962-1975
Copyright Item copyright: © Australian War Memorial
Creative Commons License This item is licensed under CC BY-NC

Noel Bennell as a journalist with the 0-10 network in Vietnam 1972. Impression of Saigon in 1972 was depressing. Low morale of the South Vietnamese indicated to him that the fall of Saigon was inevitable. The United States troops also showed a low morale either through leadership or the affect of the anti war protests in the US. Visit to a hospital where there were more US soldiers being treated for drug overdoses than wounded. He was not allowed to visit the Australians as the area between Saigon and Vung Tau was not secure. Awareness that this was a war without frontiers. As he was not able to go out into the war zone he did stories on refugees and orphanages in Saigon. The suffering of the civilians as a by product of war has a greater impact than battle scenes. The black humour of war correspondents. How some Vietnamese did profit from the war. Example of the taxi drivers who would take journalists to the war. The story of two correspondents who would have a picnic lunch at a staging post every day. Opinion on why journalists pride themselves on objectivity and how he did not use television to espouse his anti war opinions. He believes his television station gave equal coverage to both pro and anti war views.The US networks used foreign cameramen not as cannon fodder but because as the war progressed American cameramen were reluctant to be assigned to Vietnam. His naivity on being prepared for a war zone.

William Pinwell as an ABC journalist. The ABC gave little in the way of directives on how to report the war. He was severly critisised by ABC head office for his reporting of the alleged water torture of a female Viet Cong prisoner by Australian troops. Accused of raising common gossip as fact. Critisised by unnamed Australian Senator for his reporting of fighting between South Vietnamese and Cambodian government troops. Film runs out and interview continues as audio only. [See S03296 and S03270]

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