Lindsey Hilsum

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Lindsey Hilsum
Hilsum in 2018
Born (1958-08-03) 3 August 1958 (age 65)
EducationUniversity of Exeter

Lindsey Hilsum (born 3 August 1958) is an English television journalist and writer. She is the International Editor for Channel 4 News,[1] and a regular contributor to The Sunday Times, The Observer, The Guardian,[2] New Statesman,[3] and Granta.[4]


Early life[edit]

Her father is professor Cyril Hilsum, a physicist best known for research that helped form the basis of modern LCD technology. She attended Worcester Grammar School for Girls and the University of Exeter, where she graduated with a degree in French and Spanish.[5][6]


Lindsey Hilsum is Channel 4 News's International Editor. She has covered the major conflicts including the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Kosovo and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In 2011, she reported the uprisings in Egypt and Bahrain, as well as Libya. She has also reported extensively from Iran and Zimbabwe, and was Channel 4 News China Correspondent from 2006 to 2008. During the 2004 US assault on Falluja, she was embedded with a frontline marine unit, and in 1994, she was the only English-speaking foreign correspondent in Rwanda when the genocide began. Before becoming a journalist, she was an aid worker, first in Latin America and then in Africa.

Her first book, Sandstorm: Libya in the Time of Revolution, was published by Faber in the UK in April 2012, and by Penguin Press in the US in May 2012, and was shortlisted for the Guardian First Book Award (2012).[7] Her second book, In Extremis: The Life and Death of the War Correspondent Marie Colvin, was published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux in the US in November 2018, and by Chatto & Windus in the UK in January 2019.[8] This book was shortlisted for the 2019 Costa book prize in the biography category.[9]


In an interview with The Oxford Student in 2010, Hilsum remarked that "American news media “shows almost no images of death, of killing, of injury – the result was that people thought it was a blood-free war, and that affects how people feel about what their government does”. In contrast, the Arab news media broadcasts much more graphic images of the reality of war. When deciding what is acceptable to broadcast from conflict zones, she argues that the crucial question is whether “you are using those images as propaganda, or whether you are using them to try and tell people the truth about war”. She concedes that this “is a very difficult thing to get right”, but is emphatic that it is not the place of a foreign correspondent to manipulate emotive images “to make a political point”.[10]


Hilsum was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Essex in 2004 and has won several awards including the Royal Television Society Journalist of the Year, James Cameron Award, One World Broadcasting Trust award, Amnesty, Voice of the Listener & Viewer and the Charles Wheeler Award. In 2017, she was awarded the Patron's Medal of the Royal Geographical Society[11] She won the 2018 James Tait Black Memorial Prize (Biography) for In Extremis.[12]


  1. ^ "Lindsey Hilsum - Channel 4 News". Retrieved 19 September 2015.
  2. ^ "Lindsey Hilsum". The Guardian. London. 28 May 2006.
  3. ^ [1] Archived 5 November 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ "Where is Kigali? | Lindsey Hilsum | Granta Magazine". Retrieved 19 September 2015.
  5. ^ "University of Essex :: Honorary Graduates :: Honorary Graduates :: Lindsey Hilsum". 14 July 2004. Retrieved 19 September 2015.
  6. ^ "Lindsey Hilsum - Speakers Corner". Speakers Corner. Retrieved 10 March 2014.
  7. ^ Flood, Alison (8 November 2012). "Guardian First Book award 2012 shortlist announced". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 8 November 2012.
  8. ^ "In Extremis". Retrieved 10 September 2018.
  9. ^ "Costa Book Awards | Behind the beans | Costa Coffee".
  10. ^ Lighton, Alice (9 May 2010). "Interview: Lindsey Hilsum". The Oxford Student. Retrieved 16 November 2020.
  11. ^ "2017 awards". Royal Geographical Society. Retrieved 30 April 2018.
  12. ^ "Tales of love and war win centenary book awards". 18 August 2019. Retrieved 18 August 2019.

External links[edit]