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Magazine of the Chartered Institute of Journalists

BAFTA Fellowship for Kate Adie

Award-winning broadcast journalist and author Kate Adie OBE, a longstanding member of the Chartered Institute of Journalists (and a Fellow of our Institute since 1990), has been honoured with a Fellowship of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts. The BAFTA Fellowship is the highest accolade bestowed by the Academy on an individual in recognition of outstanding and exceptional contributions to film and television. Fellows previously honoured for their work in television include Melvyn Bragg, Michael Palin, Trevor MacDonald and David Attenborough. Joanna Lumley received the Fellowship at last year’s British Television Awards.

Jane Lush, Chair of BAFTA, said: “Kate Adie is a truly groundbreaking news journalist, being one of a very small number of women working to report the news from hostile environments around the world. Throughout her career, she has brought audiences to the centre of the story by fearlessly reporting from the ground, while clearly and concisely explaining the complex issues to audiences at home. We are delighted to be celebrating her stellar career at this year’s ceremony; she is a true trailblazer and very deserving of the Fellowship.”

Kate Adie told The Journal: “It’s lovely to be awarded the BAFTA Fellowship. I feel very honoured.”

Adie began her broadcasting career as a station assistant at Radio Durham and then moved to BBC Radio Bristol. She made the transition to TV news in London and was on duty in 1980 when the siege of the Iranian Embassy was brought to an end by the SAS. Her live report, which interrupted the World Snooker Championships, was seen and heard by millions in homes across the UK. In 1989, she was appointed Chief News Correspondent for the BBC and held the post for 14 years.

Danger zones

She has reported from danger zones and conflicts around the world, including both Gulf Wars, four years of war in the Balkans, the final NATO intervention in Kosovo and elections in 2000, the Herald of Free Enterprise disaster at Zeebrugge, the massacre at Dunblane, the Selby rail crash, the Bologna railway station bombing and the Tiananmen Square protest in Beijing in 1989. She carried out numerous assignments in Northern Ireland throughout “The Troubles”, as well as reporting on the referendum to ratify the Good Friday Agreement. Kate Adie also covered the Lockerbie bombing and reported from Libya after the London Embassy siege of 1984, reporting from Libya many times thereafter, including the bombing of Tripoli by the US in 1986. She also covered the Rwandan Genocide and the British military intervention in the Sierra Leone Civil War.

The long-serving presenter of Radio 4’s “From Our Own Correspondent”, and a presenter or contributor to many other radio and television programmes, Adie has won numerous awards including the Richard Dimbleby Award at the British Academy Television Awards in 1990 (the same year she was awarded a Fellowship of the CIoJ), three Royal Television Society awards and the Broadcasting Press Guild’s Award for Outstanding Contribution to Broadcasting.