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Reporting from the Front Line

Lindsey Hilsum, Eve Pollard, Anabel Hernandez and Gillian Clarke discuss war reporting and investigative journalism with Andrew Marr.

Andrew Marr talks to the journalist Lindsey Hilsum about the extraordinary life of the war correspondent Marie Colvin. Throughout her career she travelled to the most dangerous places in the world, to bear witness to the suffering of ordinary people caught up in extraordinary events. She wrote: “it has always seemed to me that what I write about is humanity in extremis, pushed to the unendurable, and that it is important to tell people what really happens in wars.’ She was killed in Syria in 2012.

For most of her career Marie Colvin wrote for The Sunday Times newspaper. Eve Pollard knows only too well the added pressures of getting a scoop for the nation’s weekend papers, as she formerly edited both the Sunday Mirror and the Sunday Express. She’s now the UK Chair of Reporters Without Borders which this week will honour courage, impact and independence in journalism.

Anabel Hernandez is an investigative reporter who has fought to lay bare the terrible facts behind the disappearance of forty-three Mexican students in 2014. Her book, A Massacre in Mexico, details the systemic corruption and cover-up among state officials, from the local police to government ministers.

It is a hundred years since the poet Wilfred Owen died in battle, just a week before the end of WWI. The poet Gillian Clarke explores how Owen’s poetry brought to light the physical and mental trauma of combat, and how in her own work she’s reflected contemporary conflicts.

Producer: Katy Hickman

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42 minutes

Lindsey Hilsum

Lindsey Hilsum is Channel 4 News International Editor. She is an award-winning correspondent who has reported from war zones around the world including Rwanda, Serbia and Iraq.  

In Extremis – The Life Of War Correspondent Marie Colvin is published by Chatto & Windus. In Extremis is also Book of the Week on BBC Radio 4.

Anabel Hernández

Anabel Hernández is one of Mexico’s leading investigative journalists. Her work on the alleged collusion of government officials and drug lords won her the Golden Pen of Freedom award in 2012. 

A Massacre in Mexico: The True Story Behind the Missing Forty-Three Students is published by Verso. The original Spanish version was published in 2016.

Eve Pollard

Often referred to as ‘The First Lady of Fleet Street’, Eve Pollard became the second woman to edit a national newspaper in the UK, The Sunday Mirror, in 1987. She is a regular commentator on the UK media.

Reporters Without Borders’ first-ever London Press Freedom Awards will be held on Thursday 8th November.

Gillian Clarke

Gillian Clarke is one of the central figures in contemporary Welsh poetry, the third to take up the post of National Poet of Wales, from 2008-2016. She was awarded the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry in 2010. 

Gillian Clarke is taking part in a Peace Poetry discussion in memory of Wilfred Owen at the British Library, to be broadcast on BBC Radio 3 on Tuesday 6th November at 10pm.

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