PHILLIP ROBERTSON. Selected Stories.
Phillip Robertson: Biography

Phillip Robertson has covered the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq for a wide variety of news organizations. He has published more than 60 feature articles in Salon, using first person narrative to communicate the effects of conflict on ordinary people. He has reported for Time magazine, BBC World Service Radio, National Public Radio in the United States and the Christian Science Monitor. In 2003, Robertson was a finalist for the USC/Annenberg award for online journalism in the breaking news category.

During the siege of Najaf in 2004, he collaborated with photojournalist Thorne Anderson to document the devastating course of the war in the Shi'ite holy city. After crossing through the US cordon and Mahdi Army forward positions on foot, Robertson and Anderson remained in the Shrine of Imam Ali for three days, interviewing and photographing the Mahdi Army fighters as their lines collapsed under the American offensive. After returning to Iraq in 2006 and 2007, Robertson wrote a series of three articles about the accelerating sectarian conflict in Iraq and the evolution of Shi'ite death squads in Baghdad. The story, "In the Mosque of Imam Ali," was chosen by David Foster Wallace to appear in The Best American Essays 2007.

Phillip's investigative feature about cocaine smuggling and Chiquita Brands, The Octopus in the Cathedral of Salt, appeared in the Virginia Quarterly Review's Fall 2007 issue. In August 2008, after assignments in Colombia and Burma, he returned to Iraq for the Associated Press, covering the violence in the northern city of Mosul. In 2013, Phillip traveled to Syria and worked for Human Rights Watch in the rebel-held section of Aleppo, where he was briefly captured by ISIS.

In 2007, Phillip joined the faculty at the New School in New York where he wrote a course for the Media Studies department, "Conflict Reporting and the War on Terror." Notable projects by the students included an extraordinary photo essay on a young Arab woman accused by the FBI of plotting to become a suicide bomber, and an hour-long documentary for PBS about Saddam Hussein. In 2008, Robertson was a writer-in-residence at the Headlands Center for the Arts. Robertson received a fellowship from the New York Foundation for the Arts in 2009 for Non-Fiction, and is currently working on a book about the war in Syria and his attempt to save the family farm in Northern California.

Phillip lives in San Francisco, CA. 

LEAD IMAGE: Mosul, Iraq 2003. Phillip Robertson and Baravan Dohuki talking to residents of the Iraqi city on the day Iraqi forces withdrew. Looters were breaking into banks and government offices were burning. "This isn't freedom," one man said, "this is bullshit."
Photo: Sion Touhig