In 1989, Kent won back-to-back Emmy Awards for his role in NBC's coverage of the Tiananmen Square massacre and the Romanian uprising. His film A View of Bosnia in 1993 featured rare battlefield sequences of Serb Chetnik irregulars. A Wedding in Basra (PBS, 1998) and Back to Basra: After Saddam (The History Channel, 2003) provide a unique before-and-after look at life under the former Iraqi regime.
Arthur Kent’s work in Afghanistan spans 27 years, from the early months of the Soviet invasion in 1980 to today’s NATO-led campaign to provide security and reconstruction. He has photographed and interviewed many of the personalities who have dominated the Afghan stage. Currently he is updating his 2006 documentary, Afghanistan: Peacemaking In Progress, which was produced specifically for public forum screenings across Canada. Now titled Afghanistan: Peacemaking In Question, the program will be screened and distributed over the internet later this year here at SkyReporter.com.
Arthur Kent was born in Medicine Hat, Canada and spent his early school years in Calgary. He studied journalism and history at Carleton University in Ottawa, graduating in 1975 with first class honors. In 1977, Kent was named Alberta correspondent for The National, the CBC’s principal evening newscast. He left the network to pursue his own projects in 1979, travelling overseas in the early 1980s as an independent reporter and photographer.
In 1986, he began reporting jointly to the CBC, NBC News and The Observer newspaper of London. This arrangement continued through the watershed news years of 1988 and 1989, when Kent reported his way from Afghanistan and Pakistan to the former Soviet Union and China. In autumn 1989, he joined NBC as the network’s Rome Correspondent.
During the 1991 Gulf War, Kent reported the first-ever live coverage of missile vs. anti-missile warfare. One year later, the “Scud Stud” was forced into a legal battle with NBC management over the intrusion of entertainment values into news. Kent won a record settlement from NBC and its GE parent company, and the right to publish the evidence in his book Risk and Redemption: Surviving the Network News Wars.
He went on to set up his own London-based production company, Fast Forward Films, and from 1993 to 1995 hosted the CBC’s respected documentary series, MAN ALIVE. From 1998 through 2003, he was host of both History Undercover and History’s Mysteries on The History Channel.
Kent’s independent documentary productions include the cinematic short subjects A View of Bosnia (1993) and Home in Alberta (2005); and on television: Return to Afghanistan (CBC, 1994); A Wedding in Basra (PBS, 1998); The Ace: The Johannes Steinhoff Story (The History Channel, 1999); The Black Legion: Terror in the Heartland (The History Channel, 2000); America’s Lost Bombs: The True Story of Broken Arrows (The History Channel, 2001); Afghanistan: Captives of the Warlords (PBS, 2001); Afghanistan: Legacy of War (The History Channel, 2001); Back to Basra: After Saddam (The History Channel, 2003) and Afghanistan: Peacemaking in Progress (2006).
Arthur Kent is a member of the International Federation of Journalists and Britain’s National Union of Journalists, and of PEN Canada and the Writer’s Union of Canada. He was a founding director of the Military Reporters and Editors of America, and co-founder of TVNewscan, a research project of The George Washington University’s School of Media and Public Affairs, which is assessing television news coverage of the Iraq war. He contributed the preface to News Incorporated: Corporate Media Ownership and Its Threat to Democracy, edited by Elliot Cohen.