Adie in 2014
19 September 1945
|Notable credit(s)||Chief News Correspondent for BBC News Presenter of From Our Own Correspondent on BBC Radio 4 Author The Kindness of Strangers Awarded OBE|
I never desired to go into war zones. I never had any thought about it. It sort of just happened as part of the job.
Up until about 12 years ago we never, ever, wore flak jacket or helmets but now the nastiness has got worse.
On the whole, when the unexpected danger happens to you, you're thinking so fast, you're thinking so hard, every bit of you is alive to 'What should I do?' 'What can I do?' There isn't a lot of time for contemplation.
I wrote in the book very specifically what I wanted to write about, period, and left it at.
My job is to get to the heart of a story, to find out what's really going on; to get it verified and, then, to get it out to as many people as possible as fast as.
Now children as young as nine carry AK47s which can kill 30 people in seconds.
On the Northern Ireland question, for instance, the British and Irish governments prohibit media contact with members of the IRA, but we have always gone ahead, believing in the right to information.
War zones are dangerous, protests can be violent, also, natural disasters are difficult to cover, so there are going to be risks.
I keep telling myself to calm down, to take less of an interest in things and not to get so excited, but I still care a lot about liberty, freedom of speech and expression, and fairness in journalism.
The better the information it has, the better democracy works. Silence and secrecy are never good for it.
Twenty-four hour news delivers people who stand and talk to camera rather than deliver reported packages with their own camera crew where it's happening.
It's totally mistaken to suppose that an armed escort is going to give a journalist any protection - on the contrary, journalists who turn up surrounded by armed personnel are just turning themselves into targets and in even worse danger.
I was timid and frightened as a child. Yours truly did not shin up mountains or do any other kind of adventurous stuff.
If I'm in danger then it's usually my fault and it's up to me to get myself out of it. I am not in it just to get an adrenalin rush. No way!
I have no time for the endless nostalgia: 'Oh gosh I used to . . . ' Life is too short; I don't have any time for sitting and saying I miss things. What's the point? Go and do something else.
I don't sit there and speculate. I'm not that sort of person. It wastes time, actually.
In Sierra Leone last year there was just the two of us hanging out of a helicopter and, when we were in Bosnia, I drove an armoured vehicle, thousands of miles.
I've never been one to sit around and eat my heart out. Life's too short.
It wasn't glamorous in my day. In the regions, reporters were seen as such low life that they didn't merit their name in the Radio Times. Now people are interested in being famous. I never gave it a thought.