TV & Digital
Harriet is a Director / Producer for HBO's documentary newscast VICE News Tonight. Selected shorts below:
VICE News Tonight on HBO: Haiti's New Army
June 2018 (Director / Producer)
Haiti hasn't had a military since 1995, when it was disbanded after a series of coups, brutal crackdowns, and an American intervention. But now, officials there say it's time for a comeback.
Last year, President Jovenel Moïse declared that the Caribbean's poorest nation would be reconstituting its army, just in time for the drawdown of United Nations troops, who have been part of the Haitian security landscape for years.
For the past two decades, responsibility for law and order has largely fallen to the country's National Police, a force that is heavily funded, and heavily vetted, by the U.S.
According to official polls, the renewed army has the support of the majority of the population, where the U.N. is widely seen more as a force of instability and foreign control, rather than peace.
But on a recent visit to the country, VICE News learned that many Haitians remain deeply skeptical of the plan.
Mario Joseph, a leading human rights lawyer in the capital, Port-au-Prince, says the military brings back dreadful memories. And the decision by authorities to reappoint many of the original officers to the new High Command has only reinforced his concerns.
"This is an army that was re-formed — that's it," Joseph told VICE News. "It's not a new army."
The question facing Haitian officials is whether they can really make peace with the troubles of the past, or if they are simply hoping to turn the page.
"I can understand, you know, for some people there's some concern," said Herve Denis, the Haitian minister of defense. "But I said, 'Watch us. You will see that we are doing the best for the country."
Full link: here.
Vice news tonight on hbo: Lost cities of gold
March 2018 (Director / Producer)
In 2006, Keith Barron found the largest gold deposit in Ecuador's history, changing both his life and, potentially, the future of the entire country.
Ecuador is one of the most mineral-rich countries in the world, but the vast majority of the land is still unexplored because the terrain is mostly mountains and jungle. So for almost a decade, foreign explorers were banned from Ecuador in order to give the country time to establish a formal royalty system and implement an official set of regulations.
The ban was finally lifted two years ago. Now that it's over, foreign explorers are rushing back to see what they can find, and some, like Barron, think they're close to finding the next big treasure.
We traveled to the Amazon to see what modern-day gold hunting looks like, how Ecuador is dealing with its new gold rush, and whether Barron is actually about to strike gold again.
Full link here.
Vice news tonight on hbo: Trump's army
February 2018 (Director / Producer)
Donald Trump wants a bigger army. Much bigger. For recruiters, that means a hard job just got harder.
This year's target has been set to 80,000 recruits, up from 68,000 the year before, and the edict comes at a low point for recruitment enthusiasm. Low unemployment rates have made the Army less appealing for young people, as have more than 15 years of war in Afghanistan and Iraq. To make matters worse, a rise in obesity rates means that only some of the young people who are interested in enlisting in the armed forces can even qualify.
So the Army is looking inward, reforming itself to make the prospect of serving more attractive. These initiatives include increasing bonuses, allowing more waivers for people who have used marijuana, and helping potential recruits to lose weight.
VICE news tonight on HBO: Czech Populism
January 2018 (Director / Producer)
Czech President Miloš Zeman was elected for a second term, fending off centrist and pro-EU academic Jiri Drahos in a presidential race that fast became a referendum on Czech identity.
The nationalistic, pro-Trump and EU-sceptic Zeman is notorious for his brash style of politics, anti-migration rhetoric and as the defender of the country he now calls "Czechia."
In 2017, the EU survived challenges from right-wing parties in the West of Europe, but in 2018 its authority is under threat from populism in the East. Zeman has been vocal in his demands for a referendum on EU membership, which is creating another headache for Brussels.
VICE News Tonight on HBO: Alabama - The Special Election
December 2017 (Producer)
The Alabama Senate Special Election shouldn't have even been close. President Donald Trump beat Hillary Clinton by 28 points in the state, and one of the reasons Jeff Sessions was chosen to be Attorney General was because his Senate seat should have been easy for the Republican Party to the defend.
But allegations that Judge Roy Moore’s had improper contact with teenage girls changed the race.
Both Moore and Democrat candidate Doug Jones tried to keep the race focused inwardly on Alabama—even as both brought in outside help. On the Republican side, Moore had Trump strategist Steve Bannon stump for him. Jones welcomed former Vice President Joe Biden and a slew of African American political leaders. But both seemed to know the same thing: that this race would ultimately be decided by the people of Alabama, on their own terms, for their own reasons.
VICE News teams were on the ground in Alabama to hear from voters about the choice they were facing in the final days and hours before Jones's knife-edge win.
Vice news tonight on hbo: afghan deployment
October 2017 (Director / Producer)
U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis went to Capitol Hill on Monday to ask for an extension of the Authorization for Use of Military Force, a law that dates back to shortly after 9/11, which authorized the president to deploy the U.S. military to combat terror organizations without asking for permission from Congress.
This fall more than 4,000 more U.S. troops will be deploying to Afghanistan, a conflict authorized by the law and now in its 17th year. The U.S. already has around 8,500 troops on the ground in the region, but this new effort is a bid to boost a combat force tasked with destroying the Taliban, which has been gaining ground against Afghan government forces.
We joined the 3rd Infantry Division of Fort Stewart, Georgia, as a new generation of soldiers deployed for Afghanistan.
Full link and bonus scene: here.
VICE NEWS Tonight on HBO: Migrants & The Mafia
August 2017 (Director / Producer)
They’ve fled violence, poverty, and terrorism – and made the often perilous journey across the Mediterranean from Africa and the Middle East. But for the more than 100,000 migrants who’ve arrived in Italy so far this year, the life that awaits them can be almost as dangerous as the one they left behind.
This is particularly true for economic migrants, who don’t have the same legal status as refugees, and aren’t given the same work permits or financial aid to help them survive. Barred from the legal workforce, and with few financial options, many are targeted by criminal gangs — supported by the Italian mafia — and thrust into a life of sex slavery and drug trafficking. That’s what VICE News discovered after visiting Ballarò, a small market area, and traditional mafia stronghold near Palermo, Sicily, where the infamous Cosa Nostra mafia syndicate continues to wield power.
VICE News tonight on HBO: Berlin's neo-nazis
August 2017 (Director / Producer)
Days after a white supremacist rally turned deadly in Charlottesville, Virginia, more than 500 neo-Nazis marched through Berlin in the largest fascist rally the city has seen in more than 10 years.
The glorification of the Nazi era is a criminal offence in Germany — with a prison term of up to three years — and rallies of this scale and size have been consistently banned. But earlier in August, Berlin authorities granted the Nazis permission to march on the grounds of free speech.
vice news tonight on hbO: Yanis Varoufakis
July 2017 (Director / Producer)
Vice news tonight on hbo: VIOME factory, Greece
June 2017 (Director / Producer)
When is a chemical factory not a chemical factory? When it’s in Greece, in the middle of the biggest meltdown post-war Europe has ever faced.
At the height of the Greek financial crisis in 2011, the mostly middle-aged workers at Viome in the second city of Thessaloniki were faced with an existential quandary: The factory owners had gone bust, and the plant was about to shut down. The men and women of Viome would be laid off and, given the mess Greece was/is/will likely be in for decades, faced the prospect of being unemployed for the rest of their lives.
So they occupied their factory. Not only that, they turned it upside down, in terms of product: Now, instead of making industrial chemicals, they would make soap.
VICE News went to Greece to speak with the staff at VIOME, who make up what’s referred to as one of Europe’s most startling social experiments. View here.
VICE news tonight on hbo: Atlantic resolve
June 2017 (Director / Producer)
During his campaign, Donald Trump expressed skepticism about American military involvement overseas generally, and about NATO specifically. But since taking office, he hasn’t backed away from Operation Atlantic Resolve, which represents the largest military buildup in Europe since the end of the Cold War.
Some 6,500 U.S. troops are currently in Eastern Europe, working with NATO counterparts during their ongoing response to Russian aggression in Ukraine. VICE News goes to Romania, a staunch NATO ally that lies just across the Black Sea from Crimea, to speak to U.S. soldiers and Romanian military personnel about the ongoing U.S. presence.
VICE News Tonight on HBO: Greek Shipping
May 2017 (Director / Producer)
The Greek government just slashed its economic growth projections as it lists towards another recession. That will likely mean new austerity measures and steeper taxes in a country already crippled by debt nearly twice the size of its GDP.
But even in the midst of a financial crisis, one sector is thriving: the historic Greek shipping industry, whose $84 billion fleet is the largest in the world.
VICE news tonight: Stalled in Greece
March 2017 (Producer / Shooter)
Greece's youth are leaving cities as the country struggles with record unemployment.
Web link here.
VICE News Tonight: China's Potato Push
February 2017 (Producer)
China has a real problem: It has to feed 20 percent of the world’s population with just 10 percent of the world’s arable land. And the government recently announced farming practices are too intensive to be sustainable, all while demand for food grows more quickly than supply.
Last year, China decided on a bold solution: to transform the potato into one of its staple foods.
VICE News Tonight: Taking the pledge, Chicago
January 2016 (Field Producer / Shooter)
This month, the Department of Justice released a report highlighting the urgent need for reform in the Chicago Police Department, citing, among other things, the disproportionate targeting of African Americans.
At the moment, more than half of the city’s police force is white, even though white people make up less than a third of the city’s population. Officials are trying to change that. As part of an effort launched in 2015 to hire almost a thousand new officers, Chicago has specifically focused on attracting minority recruits. But convincing people to join ranks with officers that they feel have oppressed them isn’t easy.
VICE News went to Chicago to meet one recruit who is torn about joining the force.
VICE NEWS TONIGHT: shanghai's housing bubble
December 2016 (Producer)
Shanghai’s property market is super hot, with surging demand for new apartments and prices in September hitting an all-time high, as the new middle class becomes the urban elite. Those who can afford to are even snapping up their second or third property as status symbols.
People born into Mao’s China in the 1950s and ’60s are now enjoying an economic emancipation since the country opened itself up to foreign investment in the ’90s, creating a new consumer class. But income disparity in China is increasing and over the next decade, a projected 400 million will move to China’s cities.
The Chinese government, fearing a widening inequality gap between the cities and the countryside, is struggling to control the bubble. VICE News reports from Shanghai.
VICE News Tonight: Educators in exile, Turkey
October 2016 (Producer / Shooter)
In the aftermath of Turkey's attempted coup on July 15, over 100,000 members of Turkish civil society have been suspended, as President Erdogan's government purges coup-conspirators from the military, the judiciary, public office and the education sector.
VICE News Tonight met with Maya Arakon, a former of professor of security studies and terrorism, who lost her job in the first round of suspensions made in the wake of the coup. Speaking from her lakeside home in Lawrenceville, Georgia, we look at the current events in Turkey.