Fergal Keane OBE
Award-Winning BBC Broadcast Journalist
Keane was born in London, but raised and educated in Dublin and Cork.
He began his career in journalism in 1979 as a reporter on the Limerick Leader, before moving to the national daily newspaper, The Irish Press.
His first taste of broadcasting was with Radio and Television Eire, where he was a reporter and presenter from 1984 to 1987, later reporting from Belfast for the station. Keane joined the BBC in 1989 as Northern Ireland Correspondent.
In August 1990, he was appointed Southern Africa Correspondent, after having covered the regions during the early 1980’s. It is probably with this region that he is most strongly associated.
Fergal’s reports covered the township unrest in South Africa, Mandela’s increasing popularity and the first multi-racial elections following the end of apartheid.
During this time he travelled the length and breadth of the country from the white farms of the Northern Transvaal to the vast townships of the Witwatersand. From this experience he wrote a book The Bondage of Fear primarily about the experience of ordinary South Africans as history propelled them towards a new uncharted country. As Southern Africa correspondent he also covered the civil war in Rwanda.
In 1995, Keane became the BBC’s Asia correspondent, covering all the main stories in the region; from the Tokyo gas attacks in January of that year until the handover of Hong Kong from British to Chinese rule on July 1st 1997.
Keane is a regular columnist with The Independent newspaper and a columnist with Traveller magazine. He also writes occasionally for The Spectator.
Keane’s reporting has attracted widespread critical acclaim which has led to a number of awards including: Royal Television Society Journalist of the Year, BAFTA Sony Radio Reporter of the Year Voice of the Viewer and Listener Award, George Orwell Prize Bayeux Prize for War Correspondents, Edward R Murrow Award for War Reporting, Human Rights Journalist of the Year, Amnesty International One World Media Award, Index on Censorship Award for Outstanding Commitment to Journalistic Integrity.
Keane has been awarded Honorary Doctor of Letters, Strathclyde University; Honorary Doctor of Letters, Staffordshire University.
In 1996 Keane was awarded an OBE for services to journalism.
Books by Keane include: Road of Bones, All of These People: A Memoir Story of Ireland, There Will Be Sunlight Later – A Memoir of War, A Strangers Eye, Letters Home, Letter to Daniel, and Season of Blood.