Hello. I originally wrote this in the third person, but that felt weird, so instead here is a bit about me, written by me, so it might be slightly biased.
I grew up in the Scottish Highlands (hello Black Isle!) which is an amazing place to grow up, before heading “down south” to the bright lights of London, and graduating with a degree (first class honours no less) in English from University College London. I like to say that I’m almost fluent now.
As a student I debated the head of Sky News - the UK’s first 24-hour news channel - about why young people don’t watch the news. In return he offered me work experience, and ultimately a job as a runner (photocopying scripts, making coffee, all the glamorous stuff). He told me the best way to learn about journalism would be to start at the bottom, read McNae’s Essential Law for Journalists, and work my way up. It was good advice. Over the next fifteen years I worked alongside and learned from some of the best in the business.
As a foreign correspondent, based first in Moscow, then in Beijing for Sky News, I have reported from more than twenty countries, covered conflicts, natural disasters, revolution, and some of the world’s most repressive regimes.
I have reported extensively on North Korea, travelling to Pyongyang, the DMZ, and the China-North Korea border, and covering multiple missile and nuclear tests. I have travelled out into the disputed waters of the South China Sea (which involved a week on board a wooden fishing boat), into the mountains of Myanmar (on the back of a motorbike), and reported under sniper fire from ISIS-linked militants in the southern Philippines.
During my time in Russia, I travelled frequently to Ukraine, leading our channel’s coverage of the crisis there - from the early street protests in Kiev, to the annexation of Crimea, and the subsequent conflict in the country’s east.
Between assignments I also developed a love for foot-based endurance challenges my friends think are bonkers, and have so far run marathons, ultras, or triathlons in China, Mongolia, Taiwan, the DMZ, and across a frozen lake in Siberia.
I’m currently based in Washington, DC, as a fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, where I’m researching the political use of wartime history in Russia, China, and North Korea.