I caught up with CNN’s Chief International Correspondent Clarissa Ward not long after she returned from reporting inside Taliban controlled territory in Afghanistan. She is one of the only western journalists to access Taliban territory to see what life is like under their control. She interviewed both civilians and Taliban officials and is on the Global Dispatches podcast to discuss her reporting.

We kick off discussing the story behind her story: that is, how an unprecedented reporting project like this can be carried out in a volatile security environment?  We also discuss how she and her team navigated gender dynamics inherent in a female journalist interviewing Taliban officials. We then talk through some of her key findings about how the Taliban have evolved over the last 17 years.

Her report comes at a vital time as the US and Taliban officials are negotiating face to face, and as Clarissa Ward explains, the fact of those ongoing negotiations helps provide some context for her reporting.

CNN aired her report in late February, titled 36 Hours With The Taliban. Listen to our conversation about her reporting from behind Taliban Lines.

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Listen back to our 2016 conversation about life in Aleppo, Syria during the height of the siege.

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