In the age of fast news, few resources and global technology, are foreign correspondents becoming redundant – or are they a vital investment in properly bearing witness? Three esteemed former foreign correspondents reveal experiences from the front, sharing on-the-job tales, stories of the long-term effects of the role, and a look at how it’s evolved over the years … from the days before email and mobile phones.
Take the long view with former Age foreign editor Cameron Forbes, Tony Clifton (ex Newsweek and Sunday Times) and Mike Keats, who has 50 years of experience as a foreign correspondent and editor. Hosted by Eleanor Hall.
Tony Clifton spent 40 years working as a foreign correspondent, covering conflicts around the world for publications like Newsweek and the London Sunday Times.
Cameron Forbes has been foreign editor, Europe correspondent and Asia correspondent for the Age and Washington correspondent for the Australian. He has reported on rebellions, civil wars and wars in Northern Ireland, Portugal, Sri Lanka, South Africa, Bougainville, the Philippines, Burma, the Middle East, Afghanistan and Rwanda.
Michael Keats is a journalist with more than 50 years experience as a foreign correspondent and in editorial management. In his career, he reported from 88 of the 193 member countries of the United Nations. He began his career in 1952 as a copyboy with the now defunct Argus newspaper and then as a cadet reporter with Australian United Press (AUP) news agency. He later went to Brisbane to work on the Brisbane Telegraph (also defunct) and in the Queensland Network newsroom of the 4BC group of radio stations.
Eleanor Hall is the voice of ABC Radio’s The World Today at lunchtime, which delivers national and international news and analysis to more than a million listeners nationally, throughout the region and online. She is also a presenter on The Drum on ABC television.