About

I’m a freelance journalist based in Asia and writing mainly about Asian politics, human rights, political risk and media ethics.

For 17 years I worked for Reuters, including long spells as correspondent in Jakarta in 1998-2000, deputy bureau chief in Bangkok in 2000-2002, Baghdad bureau chief in 2003-2005, and managing editor for the Middle East in 2006-2008. In 2008 I moved to Singapore as chief correspondent for political risk, and in late 2010 I became deputy editor for emerging and frontier Asia.

I’ve reported from more than three dozen countries, on every continent except South America. I’ve covered conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Lebanon, the Palestinian Territories and East Timor; and political upheaval in Israel, Indonesia, Cambodia, Thailand and Burma. Of all the leading world figures I’ve interviewed, the three I most enjoyed talking to were Aung San Suu Kyi, Xanana Gusmao, and the Dalai Lama.

I also regularly give presentations to corporate executives and finance industry analysts, mainly on political risk, dealing with risk as a manager, and on predicting future political and social trends in Asia. I’ve lectured at several universities in Asia and Europe, and also given presentations to military officers at the Pentagon, in London and at the Peace Support Operations Training Centre in Sarajevo, to train soldiers on how to safely coexist with journalists in conflict zones.

At the start of June 2011 I resigned from Reuters, with regret, in order to publish what I consider to be an important and necessary story about Thailand. Because of Thailand’s harsh lèse majesté, defamation and computer crimes laws, which criminalize telling the truth about powerful figures, it was not possible for Reuters to guarantee the safety of its staff within Thailand if it ran the story.

You can contact me at e-mail zenjournalist@gmail.com

A Reuters multimedia presentation on the work we did in Iraq can be viewed here. You can also view the introduction to the multimedia presentation below:

And finally, one of my earliest forays into the world of news, in 1982, can be viewed below. Namaste.

 

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