In Kabul, CNN Chief International Correspondent Clarissa Ward Says Afghan Journalists, Particularly Women, Are ‘Absolutely Petrified’

By A.J. Katz 

CNN chief international correspondent Clarissa Ward is on the scene in Kabul as conditions in the region worsen due to the Taliban having wrestled control of Afghanistan away from the Afghan government.

Ward appeared on Reliable Sources Sunday from Afghanistan’s capital and most populous city, and she explained how local journalists are working through the difficult conditions. She remarked to host Brian Stelter that Afghan journalists, particularly women, are “absolutely petrified,” adding, “They’ve been doing bold and incredible reporting for many years, and now there’s a very real fear that they might face retaliations for that or that certainly they won’t be able to do their work anymore.”

According to Ward, many newsrooms in Afghanistan are “pretty much hunkered down at the moment,” and that there seems to be “a sense of real concern that things could get chaotic on the streets.”


Sunday evening local time, Ward said that she hadn’t the sense that Western journalists were in immediate danger, but that her CNN crew had moved their live shot location indoors to avoid “potentially attracting a lot of attention.”

She noted that concerns remain high that local reporters will be targeted for retaliation by the Taliban because they have been so outspoken against the military organization. Ward said that CNN’s crews in Afghanistan are being “exceptionally cautious,” and that she and her team will leave, if necessary. However, it’s clear she wants to continue reporting from Kabul, despite the deteriorating conditions, so it appears CNN will allow her to do just that for the time being; even as U.S. diplomats have left the country and shut down the embassy.

But “for so many Afghans, that’s simply not an option. They’re here, they have to stay, they have to live with the consequences of this next chapter,” added Ward.


Ward had also done on a hit for Fareed Zakaria GPS in the previous hour on Sunday. When he asked her what she thinks would happen to her if the Taliban takes Kabul (it now has as of Monday morning), she responded with the following: