From World Hot Spots To Chiswick

Journalist James Rodgers on reporting conflict


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The job of foreign correspondent has changed dramatically over the past twenty years. The days of crackling telephone lines have vanished and been replaced with slick new technology and journalists under pressure from 24-hour rolling news.

Chiswick-based journalist James Rodgers has written his account of his two decades as a foreign correspondent based on his experience in conflict zones from Chechnya to Gaza. James will be signing copies of his book, Reporting Conflict at Waterstones, on Chiswick High Road, on Saturday, July 7th from 12.30-1.30p.m

The father-of-two spent five years working for Reuters Television before working for the BBC, where he spent fifteen years as a foreign correspondent in Moscow, Gaza, and Brussels between 1995- 2010.

Originally from Manchester, he studied Russian and French at Oxford, and has covered many of the major stories from the former Soviet Union including the election of Boris Yeltsin, the conflicts in Chechnya and Georgia, and the Putin presidency. He also covered the September 11 attacks in New York, and was based on the Gaza Strip (2002-2004) as a BBC correspondent.

James also covered the invasion of Iraq and was the first BBC journalist to report from the village where Saddam Hussein was captured in December 2003.

For the past two years he has been a lecturer at the London Metropolitan University teaching the new MA in International Journalism; BSc Media Studies; and BA Journalism.

One of his research interests is the influence of politics on conflict journalism.

And while he welcomes many of the changes technology has made to coverage of international conflict- with locals able to send mobile phone footage abroad- he says there is still a need for a professional analysis.

“There’s nothing to beat good eyewitness reporting, but we still need to have the reporter on the ground, someone like the late Marie Colvin “.

His book also looks at the work of other leading correspondents, including Vasily Grossman, a Red Army correspondent in World War Two ,and the late Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya, who was shot in 2006. Coverage of the Balkans by the BBC’s Martin Bell is also included and the book has a foreword by the BBC’s Allan Little.

James now lives in Chiswick with his wife, who is also a journalist, and his two daughters.

Reporting Conflict is also available on Amazon.,

June 30, 2012

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