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March 17, 2016


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Kate Adie: “I Never Desired to Go into War Zones. It Just Sort of Happened as Part of the Job”

It used to be said that if you found yourself in the same place as Kate Adie, you should leave straight away.

Kate Adie will be speaking at IFSEC 2016

Kate Adie will be speaking at IFSEC 2016

As BBC Chief News Reporter she told the world about bloody protests in Tiananmen Square and witnessed first-hand the bloodshed in Bosnia, Sierra Leone and in the first Gulf War.

We are very pleased to confirm that the inspirational Kate Adie OBE DL will be speaking as one of this year’s keynotes at IFSEC International 2016. Taking to the keynote arena on 22 June – day two of the event – from 11.30am, Adie will have no shortage of fascinating stories to draw on (not least the time she was shot at by an “irate Libyan”).

To give you a taster of this very special session, here are some quotes from Kate Adie on her life of a journalist reporting from the front line. Register for your complimentary ticket here.

On the dangers of reporting from war zones

“I never desired to go into war zones. I never had any thought about it. It sort of just happened as part of the job.”

“It’s totally mistaken to suppose that an armed escort is going to give a journalist any protection – on the contrary, journalists who turn up surrounded by armed personnel are just turning themselves into targets and in even worse danger.”

“I worked in Bosnia, where 77 journalists were killed and 400 wounded, and at the BBC we have just lost a news producer in Africa.”

“Up until about 12 years ago we never, ever,wore flak jacket or helmets, but now the nastiness has got worse.”

In this archive footage you can see Kate Adie on one of her first assignments, reporting from the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989.

“My job is to get to the heart of a story, to find out what’s really going on; to get it verified and, then, to get it out to as many people as possible as fast as.”

“The better the information it has, the better democracy works. Silence and secrecy are never good for it.”

“It wasn’t glamorous in my day. In the regions, reporters were seen as such low life that they didn’t merit their name in the Radio Times. Now people are interested in being famous. I never gave it a thought.”

On life

“I keep telling myself to calm down, to take less of an interest in things and not to get so excited, but I still care a lot about liberty, freedom of speech and expression, and fairness in journalism.”

“I was timid and frightened as a child. Yours truly did not shin up mountains or do any other kind of adventurous stuff.”

“I have no time for the endless nostalgia: ‘Oh gosh, I used to . . .’ Life is too short; I don’t have any time for sitting and saying I miss things. What’s the point? Go and do something else.”

To see Kate Adie speaking on 22 June at IFSEC International 2016 register for your complimentary ticket here

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