FULLY BOOKED On the Media: Going it alone as a foreign correspondent

Talk May 31, 2011 7:00 PM


View in iTunes

As many established media organisations are forced to cut back on their foreign bureaux, new opportunities are emerging for a new type of foreign correspondent – the independent multimedia journalist.

But if the days of the foreign press pack who parachute in for a big story are numbered, what are the opportunities for this new generation of journalists and how can they make the most of them?

This event will seek to answer some of the questions raised during previous discussions about the changing nature of foreign reporting – namely “How do I do it?”.

We’ll be bringing together a panel of experts to talk about their experiences of reporting, including kit, the realities of going it alone, and working relationships with the established news organisations.

This event is in association with the BBC College of Journalism

Chaired by Matthew Eltringham, editor of the BBC College of Journalism website and events.



Vaughan Smith, independent video journalist, co-founder of Frontline Television News agency a group of freelance journalists who reported from the frontlines of the world’s conflict from 1989 – 2003 following which in he founded the Frontline Club;


Ben de Pear, is Head of foreign news at channel 4 news. Before taking up this position he was a field producer for Chanel 4 and Sky news, and has worked all over Africa the middle east and the Balkans. He has been part of teams that have won numerous awards including last weeks Amnesty award for TV- for the third year in a row. The winning story which depicted executions in Sri Lanka was today cited by the UN as reflecting "crimes of the highest order- definitive war crimes."   

Kitty Logan, independent video journalist and TV reporter specialising in coverage of developing countries and areas of conflict. Over the past nine years she has covered foreign news for several major broadcasters, including Sky News. She also regularly films for international aid agencies and the UN. She began her freelance career in Afghanistan in 2002 and has since worked in many other countries, including Pakistan, Iraq, Lebanon and most recently Libya as a self-contained ‘one-woman-band’ – producing packages and lives for a 24 hour news channel. Kitty Logan uses a simple setup of camera, edit laptop and BGAN to allow her to operate solo from anywhere in the world.

Rosie Garthwaite,  producer and occasional reporter at Al Jazeera English since 2006, she spent a year in the army in 1999 and went on to report on their activities as a cub reporter at 22 years old freelancing in Iraq. She has worked for The Baghdad Bulletin, Times, Reuters and BBC in Basra and Baghdad before going on to join the BBC as staff in 2004. She is author of How to avoid being killed in a war zone: The essential survival guide for dangerous places, a collection of practical advice from journalists and operators including John Simpson, Sebastian Junger, Jon Snow and Wadah Khanfar.

Featuring a presentation by Graham Holliday, independent freelance foreign correspondent, media trainer and online journalism specialist. He started freelancing in Vietnam, where he was based for ten years. He later worked for Scoopt, the worlds’ first citizen journalism photo agency and as the Frontline Club’s Digital Media Editor. He moved to Kigali, Rwanda in August 2009 where he runs the newswire and blog Kigali Wire. He recently appeared on the BBC World Service programme From our own Correspondent.

Picture credit: Danfung Dennis