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.
He left Australia for Europe in 1956 and joined the US agency United Press in London – which became United Press International (UPI), and travelled through Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia as a foreign correspondent for the next 35 years – covering the major events of that era, including conflicts in the Congo, Angola, Mozambique, Rhodesia, Lebanon, Afghanistan.
In 1991, he left UPI to work as a UN spokesman/press officer in Africa then in the Balkans during fighting in Bosnia-Hercegovina before becoming managing editor of Inter Press Service (IPS) – a news agency providing contextualised news and analyses on global issues as they affect the developing world.
In early 2000, Mike went to Kosovo, after the 1999 invasion of Serbia by NATO forces, as the public information officer for UNMIK – the UN administration in that territory. He then went to Geneva in 2002, to head the press unit of the International Labor Organisation and later served in their Washington office as spokesman for North America.