July 01, 2004


An Australian filmmaker is missing, feared kidnapped, in Afghanistan:

On Monday, Carmela Baranowska, 35, left Kandahar for Zabul province, 100 kilometres north. Neither she, nor her Afghan fixer, Mohibullah, have been heard from since.

Tim McGirk, the regional correspondent for Time, said he was extremely concerned for both Ms Baranowska, and Mohibullah - an experienced and reliable fixer who worked for the magazine.

Mohibullah may be the same fixer who’s worked with Australia’s Michael Ware. If so, you’d think he and Baranowska might get out of this; Ware’s stories of his fixers’ ingenuity are staggering.

Posted by Tim Blair at July 1, 2004 01:46 AM

What is a fixer?

Posted by: Observer at July 1, 2004 at 03:03 AM

I hope she's all right, as well as Mohibullah.

Posted by: The Real JeffS at July 1, 2004 at 03:56 AM

A fixer is usually a Third World local hired by an outsider (typically a journalist) to translate, navigate bureaucracies such as passport control, know where the action is, arrange 'baksheesh' (bribes), get the outsider into and out of situations where they can get an authentic 'feel' for the country.

See films like "The Killing Fields" or "Year of Living Dangerously". Great fixers in those movies.

Posted by: JDB at July 1, 2004 at 08:48 AM

For an excellent summation of what happens to journalists without competent fixers, please see the case of the Washington Post's Rajiv Chandrasekaran further down on Tim's page or the tale of this oft-quoted ex-Ba'athist favorite here:


It'll blow your mind.

(hattip to: Instapundit)

Posted by: JDB at July 1, 2004 at 09:02 AM

Contact has been made:


No word on her circumstances.

Posted by: Al Bundy at July 1, 2004 at 11:30 AM