Kate Adie visits Bedales

Posted on 13th November 2018

Bedales welcomed journalist and broadcaster Kate Adie to a full Olivier Theatre on Thursday, just months after she was awarded the BAFTA Fellowship in recognition of her exceptional contribution to television.

The former news correspondent, who became well known for reporting from war zones around the globe during her career, visited Bedales to deliver this year’s annual Global Awareness lecture.

From an accidental foray into local journalism to a 14-year stint as the BBC’s Chief News Correspondent, Kate talked about her extensive career, which included reporting on a series of kidnaps in Sardinia and being arrested in Belgrade while trying to gather material about General Tito.

She also spoke about the two foreign assignments she is most often associated with – the American bombing of the Libyan capital Tripoli in 1986 and the Chinese authorities’ killing of protestors in Tiananmen Square, Beijing, in 1989.

Giving rare insight into what it means to be a reporter and how difficult it can be not to get too closely involved with a story, Kate was clear that the role of a journalist is to expose the truth in order for others to be able to react. The way to do this, she says, is to go to where the story is, seek out the facts and hence the truth, verify witness accounts, and respond and report quickly.

She also commented on how changes in technology and consumer demand have affected the nature of news reporting and the viability of traditional news channels.

Abi Wharton, Head of Global Awareness said: “Kate presented an unequivocal belief in humanity, despite the atrocities she has witnessed throughout her career. This attitude strikes at the core of the ethos of Global Awareness at Bedales - to develop solutions to a vast array of global issues.”

Kate’s lecture formed part of Bedales’ Global Awareness series, which each year sees an external guest visit the school to deliver a lecture on a global issue.

Previous speakers have included influential Afghan refugee and author Guwali Passarlay; Executive Director of the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting Jon Sawyer; and former Director of Liberty, Shami Chakrabarti.

The lectures are of particular interest to Bedales students, many of whom are taking the bespoke Bedales Assessed Course in Global Awareness. The subject enables students to use 21st century skills such as critical thinking, creative thinking, collaboration and communication to understand and address global issues.

Kate AdieBBC News | Global Awareness | Abi Wharton