International journalist returns to Preston for free guest lecture

01 April 2015

Rachel Atkinson

Peter Burdin, former Head of the BBC’s Africa Bureau, will give a talk on 16 April

Pic: Journalist Peter Burdin who is giving a guest lecture at UCLan on 16 April.

An international journalist is heading back home to deliver a free guest lecture at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan).

Peter Burdin, an award-winning former BBC journalist, will be discussing ‘Who stole the news? – and how we can get it back’ on Thursday 16 April. It is taking place between 12noon and 1.00pm in Foster Building Lecture Theatre 3.

The Prestonian, who attended Hutton Grammar School, is currently UCLan’s international journalism practitioner-in-residence.

For the past five years Peter was Head of the BBC’s Africa Bureau. From his base in Johannesburg he was responsible for all of BBC’s newsgathering on the continent and line-managed household names such as John Simpson and Fergal Keane.

Peter has worked across all media during his distinguished career. In 1979 he was the Daily Express Young Journalist of the Year and has won five Sony Awards for his news and documentaries.

Peter joined the BBC in 1980 as a news trainee and went on to work as a reporter and producer for Television News, World At One, the PM Programme and the Today Programme.

In 1989 he joined the BBC’s Foreign News department and covered major events like the Tiananmen Square massacre, the first Gulf War, the war in Bosnia and later in Kosovo, the genocide in Rwanda and South Africa’s long transition to democracy which culminated in Nelson Mandela’s inauguration as President.

In 1997 Peter returned to London to work as the BBC’s World Assignments Editor and Deputy Foreign Editor. For 10 years he was part of the management team that runs all the BBC’s international news across television, radio and online before he moved to Africa in 2010.

He won his first Sony Award for his coverage of student demonstrations in Paris and went on to win further awards for Tiananmen Square, South Africa’s transition and the end of the Bosnian war. In 2006 he won a further Sony Award for Best Documentary for his series with BBC correspondent Allan Little ‘Return To Sarajevo’. The Sarajevo documentary also won the Dart Society Award for the Reporting of Violence and Trauma and the Association of International Broadcasters Award for Best Documentary.