Reporting Conflict


Twentieth Annual Darwin College Lecture Series 2005

Lecture 6   :   25 February

Kate Adie




The television coverage of war and conflict is a major source of information for many of us yet is subject to a variety of pressures and constraints. The attention span of the audience, the commercialisation of television, the wishes and even censorship of the military, the safety of the reporter, the role of women in conflict and the language used are some of the examples described in the lecture. And both television reporting and the television audience are now changing radically.



Kate Adie, author and broadcaster, has become a familiar figure to people through her work as Chief News Correspondent, BBC News (British Broadcasting Corporation), and is considered to be among the very finest reporters, as well as one of the first British women, sending despatches from danger zones around the world. She is also familiar as the presenter of Radio Four's From Our Own Correspondent and a guest on many other radio and television programmes. She has been named "Reporter of the Year" twice by the Royal Television Society; the first occasion was for her coverage of the SAS end to the Iranian Embassy siege in 1973. She also won the Monte Carlo International Golden Nymph Award in 1981 and 1990, and was awarded an OBE (Order of the British Empire) in 1993.

Kate grew up in Sunderland and gained her BA from Newcastle University where she read Swedish. She was a member of the National Youth Theatre and still attends the theatre and visits galleries when time permits. She is an avid reader of both fiction and history, and has served as a judge for literary prizes, most recently, the Orange Prize for Fiction. Kate is a trustee of the Imperial War Museum, and her illustrated, companion history to the museum's new permanent exhibition about women in uniform was published by Hodder & Stoughton to coincide with its opening in the autumn of 2003.

Her first book, The Kindness of Strangers, an account of her work as a reporter and how she came to undertake it, was published by Headline in 2002 and has been continually on the best seller list. Her second book Corsets to Camouflage, Women and War, was published in 2003. She is currently writing her third book. 

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