The fact that entertainment media exec Tom Freston (pictured) lived in Kabul right up to Afghanistan’s 1978 coup is lesser known than his leadership of MTV, Viacom, and the ONE Campaign. But that textile and clothing company background is the reason he is moderating a panel discussion this afternoon at the Bel Air Country Club.
Titled “Peace and War in Afghanistan: What’s really going on and the impact of media on a new Afghanistan?”, the 4:30-to-6 p.m. event is a joint presentation of the Asia Society Southern California, the Huffington Post, UCLA’s Asia Institute, and the Paley Media Center. Joining Freston will be NBC chief foreign correspondent Robert Engel and MOBY Media chairman Saad Mohseni.
Since 2002, MOBY has been working to help redevelop Afghanistan’s media and technology industries. The company’s broadcast brands of TOLO TV, LEMAR TV, and ARMAN FM have a combined country market share of 80%.
For his part, Engel has been covering international hot spots for nearly two decades. Earlier this year, he received the Daniel Pearl Award, the David Bloom Award, and an Overseas Press Club Award for his coverage of the ongoing war in Afghanistan.