Lecture Gives Ring Side Seat to Conflict

Lecture Gives Ring Side Seat to Conflict

Colin Freeman has been covering the war in Ukraine for the Daily Telegraph and shared his insights as our guest speaker at this week’s CaterhamConnected Bonarjee Lecture, having only returned from Kyiv in the last few days.

Colin’s on the ground coverage of the war continues to track every twist and turn of the crisis, and he gave a fascinating vision of how he sources, verifies and tells news stories and what it is like living and working in such environments. He also shared his unique encounters with residents who remain in the country supporting the fight back, and with soldiers on both sides. Powerful video snippets shot on Colin’s phone demonstrated quite how dangerous frontline reporting can be.

During an earlier reporting stint in Somalia, covering the sharp rise in piracy in the country, Colin was taken hostage for six weeks. He was able to share with the Caterham audience what the experience was like, from the fear and realisation of being taken to surviving a shootout between rival gangs inside a cave to a moment of humour and share appreciation of Arsenal football club with one of his captors.

Beginning his career on local newspapers and then the London Evening Standard, Colin travelled to post-Saddam Hussein’s Iraq as a freelance journalist and then became the Sunday Telegraph’s chief foreign correspondent. Colin spent the next 12 years covering stories across Africa, Asia and the Middle East for the Sunday and Daily Telegraph. Since returning to freelancing in 2016, he has also written for the Spectator, the Economist, the BBC’s From Our Own Correspondent and the British Journalism Review.

The annual Bonarjee Lecture triumphs free speech, free media and democracy and is held in memory of Old Caterhamian Stephen Bonarjee who established Radio 4’s Today programme in the 1950s and is widely known as ‘the father of modern radio’.  Stephen was also a supporter of the School throughout his life. Previous speakers have included John Humphreys and Byline Times founder and Old Caterhamian Stephen Colegrave.

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