Date: Saturday 13th May 2017
War and The Death of News:
Reflections of a Grade B Reporter
Since being offered the post of Grade B Reporter by the BBC in 1964, Martin Bell has spent more than half a century in the unquiet corners of the world, including four years in the surrogate war zone of the House of Commons.
It has been a period of rapid change in the way that wars have been fought and perceived, and of equally rapid change in the way that news has been gathered and presented. From Vietnam to Bosnia and beyond, the former BBC correspondent has been in the thick of it.
He has served as a corporal in a colonial army; flown on a defoliation mission with the Americans in Vietnam; embedded with the British in the Gulf and crossed the Suez Canal with the Israelis. He has been under fire in conflicts from Belfast, to Nigeria & El Salvador.
He has kept the company of soldiers, warlords, mercenaries and militias. He has attended one of Idi Amin’s weddings, and been arrested and deported. He was mortared by the Serbs and robbed by the French on the same day.
He gave evidence at the War Crimes Tribunal in The Hague and his travels as an ambassador for UNICEF have taken him to unreported conflicts in the Middle East and Africa. He has been a witness to most of the wars of a turbulent half-century.
His conclusions are first hand and personal and tonight he talks candidly about his life.
Wine and soft drinks available.
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