Kate Adie

Kate Adie

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Kathryn "Kate" Adie (ˈ), OBE (born 19 September 1945), is a British journalist
Journalist
A journalist collects and distributes news and other information. A journalist's work is referred to as journalism.A reporter is a type of journalist who researchs, writes, and reports on information to be presented in mass media, including print media , electronic media , and digital media A...

. Her most high-profile role was that of chief news correspondent for BBC News
BBC News
BBC News is the department of the British Broadcasting Corporation responsible for the gathering and broadcasting of news and current affairs. The department is the world's largest broadcast news organisation and generates about 120 hours of radio and television output each day, as well as online...

, during which time she became well known for reporting from war zones around the world. She currently presents From Our Own Correspondent
From our own Correspondent
From Our Own Correspondent is a BBC radio programme in which BBC correspondents broadcast monologues on topical current events from countries outside the UK...

on BBC Radio 4
BBC Radio 4
BBC Radio 4 is a British domestic radio station, operated and owned by the BBC, that broadcasts a wide variety of spoken-word programmes, including news, drama, comedy, science and history. It replaced the BBC Home Service in 1967. The station controller is currently Gwyneth Williams, and the...

.

Early life


Adie was born in Northumberland
Northumberland
Northumberland is the northernmost ceremonial county and a unitary district in North East England. For Eurostat purposes Northumberland is a NUTS 3 region and is one of three boroughs or unitary districts that comprise the "Northumberland and Tyne and Wear" NUTS 2 region...

, within sight of St Mary's Island
St Mary's Island, Tyne and Wear
St. Mary's Island is a small island made of sandstone near the seaside resort of Whitley Bay, Tyne and Wear, UK.St. Mary's Island was originally called Bates Island, Hartley Bates or Bates Hill as it was originally owned by the Bates family who were prominent locally. It is sometimes known as Bait...

. She was adopted as a baby by a Sunderland couple, John and Maud Adie, and grew up there; she is an avid fan of the city's football team, Sunderland A.F.C.
Sunderland A.F.C.
Sunderland Association Football Club is an English association football club based in Sunderland, Tyne and Wear who currently play in the Premier League...

 She had an independent school education at Sunderland Church High School, and then studied at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne
University of Newcastle upon Tyne
Newcastle University is a major research-intensive university located in Newcastle upon Tyne in the north-east of England. It was established as a School of Medicine and Surgery in 1834 and became the University of Newcastle upon Tyne by an Act of Parliament in August 1963. Newcastle University is...

, where she took a degree in Scandinavian Studies
Scandinavia
Scandinavia is a cultural, historical and ethno-linguistic region in northern Europe that includes the three kingdoms of Denmark, Norway and Sweden, characterized by their common ethno-cultural heritage and language. Modern Norway and Sweden proper are situated on the Scandinavian Peninsula,...

 and starred in several Gilbert and Sullivan
Gilbert and Sullivan
Gilbert and Sullivan refers to the Victorian-era theatrical partnership of the librettist W. S. Gilbert and the composer Arthur Sullivan . The two men collaborated on fourteen comic operas between 1871 and 1896, of which H.M.S...

 productions.

Her career with the BBC began as a station assistant at BBC Radio Durham
BBC Radio Durham
-Background:BBC Radio Durham was part of the BBC's original plan to have 9 sites where local radio experiments would be carried out. It is the only one of the original stations to have fully closed down....

, then a producer for Radio Bristol. She then switched to television, directing outside broadcasts. She was a reporter for regional TV News in Plymouth
Plymouth
Plymouth is a city and unitary authority area on the coast of Devon, England, about south-west of London. It is built between the mouths of the rivers Plym to the east and Tamar to the west, where they join Plymouth Sound...

 and Southampton
Southampton
Southampton is the largest city in the county of Hampshire on the south coast of England, and is situated south-west of London and north-west of Portsmouth. Southampton is a major port and the closest city to the New Forest...

, and joined the national news team in 1976.

Her big break was the London Iranian Embassy siege
Iranian Embassy Siege
The Iranian Embassy siege took place from 30 April to 5 May 1980, after a group of six armed men stormed the Iranian embassy in South Kensington, London. The gunmen took 26 people hostage—mostly embassy staff, but several visitors and a police officer, who had been guarding the embassy, were also...

 in 1980. As that evening's duty reporter, Adie was first on the scene as the Special Air Service
Special Air Service
Special Air Service or SAS is a corps of the British Army constituted on 31 May 1950. They are part of the United Kingdom Special Forces and have served as a model for the special forces of many other countries all over the world...

 stormed the embassy. The BBC interrupted coverage of the World Snooker Championships and Adie reported live and unscripted to one of the largest news audiences ever whilst crouched behind a car door.

Adie was thereafter regularly dispatched to report on disasters and conflicts throughout the 1980s, including the American bombing of Tripoli
Tripoli
Tripoli is the capital and largest city in Libya. It is also known as Western Tripoli , to distinguish it from Tripoli, Lebanon. It is affectionately called The Mermaid of the Mediterranean , describing its turquoise waters and its whitewashed buildings. Tripoli is a Greek name that means "Three...

 in 1986 (her reporting of this was criticised by the Conservative Party
Conservative Party (UK)
The Conservative Party, formally the Conservative and Unionist Party, is a centre-right political party in the United Kingdom that adheres to the philosophies of conservatism and British unionism. It is the largest political party in the UK, and is currently the largest single party in the House...

 Chairman Norman Tebbit
Norman Tebbit
Norman Beresford Tebbit, Baron Tebbit, CH, PC , is a British politician. A member of the Conservative Party, he served in the Cabinet from 1981 to 1987 as Secretary of State for Employment...

), and the Lockerbie bombing of 1988. She was promoted to Chief News Correspondent in 1989 and held the role for fourteen years. One of her first assignments was to report the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989
Tiananmen Square protests of 1989
The Tiananmen Square protests of 1989, also known as the June Fourth Incident in Chinese , were a series of demonstrations in and near Tiananmen Square in Beijing in the People's Republic of China beginning on 15 April 1989...

 where she sustained a slight gunshot wound to the elbow. Major assignments followed in the Gulf War
Gulf War
The Persian Gulf War , commonly referred to as simply the Gulf War, was a war waged by a U.N.-authorized coalition force from 34 nations led by the United States, against Iraq in response to Iraq's invasion and annexation of Kuwait.The war is also known under other names, such as the First Gulf...

, war in the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
The Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was the Yugoslav state that existed from the abolition of the Yugoslav monarchy until it was dissolved in 1992 amid the Yugoslav Wars. It was a socialist state and a federation made up of six socialist republics: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia,...

, the 1994 Rwandan Genocide
Rwandan Genocide
The Rwandan Genocide was the 1994 mass murder of an estimated 800,000 people in the small East African nation of Rwanda. Over the course of approximately 100 days through mid-July, over 500,000 people were killed, according to a Human Rights Watch estimate...

 and the war in Sierra Leone
Sierra Leone
Sierra Leone , officially the Republic of Sierra Leone, is a country in West Africa. It is bordered by Guinea to the north and east, Liberia to the southeast, and the Atlantic Ocean to the west and southwest. Sierra Leone covers a total area of and has an estimated population between 5.4 and 6.4...

 in 2000. In 2003 Adie withdrew from front-line reporting. She currently works as a freelance journalist (among other work she gives regular reports on Radio New Zealand
Radio New Zealand
Radio New Zealand is a New Zealand public service radio broadcaster and Crown entity formed by the Radio New Zealand Act 1995. It operates news, current affairs and arts network Radio New Zealand National and classical music and jazz network Radio New Zealand Concert with full government funding...

) and also as a public speaker, and presents From Our Own Correspondent
From our own Correspondent
From Our Own Correspondent is a BBC radio programme in which BBC correspondents broadcast monologues on topical current events from countries outside the UK...

on BBC Radio 4
BBC Radio 4
BBC Radio 4 is a British domestic radio station, operated and owned by the BBC, that broadcasts a wide variety of spoken-word programmes, including news, drama, comedy, science and history. It replaced the BBC Home Service in 1967. The station controller is currently Gwyneth Williams, and the...

. She hosted two five-part series of Found, a Leopard Films production for BBC1, in 2005 and 2006. The series considered the life experiences of adults affected by adoption
Adoption
Adoption is a process whereby a person assumes the parenting for another and, in so doing, permanently transfers all rights and responsibilities from the original parent or parents...

 and what it must be like to start one's life as a foundling
Child abandonment
Child abandonment is the practice of relinquishing interests and claims over one's offspring with the intent of never again resuming or reasserting them. Causes include many social and cultural factors as well as mental illness. An abandoned child is called a foundling .-Causes:Poverty is often a...

.

Her close-to-the-action approach once caused her to be shot at by an "irate Libya
Libya
Libya is an African country in the Maghreb region of North Africa bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, Egypt to the east, Sudan to the southeast, Chad and Niger to the south, and Algeria and Tunisia to the west....

n". The shot nicked her collar bone but she did not suffer permanent harm. Indeed, it was this approach that elicited the wry adage that "a good decision is getting on a plane at an airport where Kate Adie is getting off".

While she was in Yugoslavia, her leg was injured in Bosnia, and she also met Radovan Karadžić
Radovan Karadžic
Radovan Karadžić is a former Bosnian Serb politician. He is detained in the United Nations Detention Unit of Scheveningen, accused of war crimes committed against Bosnian Muslims and Bosnian Croats during the Siege of Sarajevo, as well as ordering the Srebrenica massacre.Educated as a...

 while there.

Adie is also a best-selling author; she published her autobiography, The Kindness of Strangers, in 2002. A second book, Corsets to Camouflage: Women and War, was published in 2003. In 2005, Adie published her third book Nobody's Child, which covers the history of foundling children and questions of identity. A fourth book, Into Danger: People Who Risk Their Lives for Work, was published in September 2008.

Adie was awarded an OBE in 1993 and won the Richard Dimbleby Award
British Academy Television Awards
The British Academy Television Awards are presented in an annual award show hosted by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts . They have been awarded annually since 1954, and are analogous to the Emmy Awards in the United States.-Background:...

 from BAFTA in 1990. She has honorary degree
Honorary degree
An honorary degree or a degree honoris causa is an academic degree for which a university has waived the usual requirements, such as matriculation, residence, study, and the passing of examinations...

s from 10 universities, including Nottingham Trent University
Nottingham Trent University
Nottingham Trent University is a public teaching and research university in Nottingham, United Kingdom. It was founded as a new university in 1992 from the existing Trent Polytechnic , however it can trace its roots back to 1843 with the establishment of the Nottingham Government School of Design...

, is an Honorary Professor of Journalism at the University of Sunderland
University of Sunderland
The University of Sunderland is located in Sunderland, north east England. The university has more than 17,500 students, including 7,000-plus international students from some 70 countries....

, and has three Honorary Fellowships.

Works

  • The Kindness of Strangers, autobiography published by Headline, ISBN 0-7553-1073-X
  • Corsets to Camouflage: Women and War, published by Coronet, ISBN 0-3408-2060-8
  • Nobody's Child, published by Hodder & Stoughton Ltd, ISBN 0-3408-3800-0
  • Into Danger, published by Hodder & Stoughton Ltd, ISBN 0-3409-3321-3

External links