The inside story of a treasured profession, in the footsteps of Confessions of a GP and Kitchen Confidential
Since making his journalistic debut breaking into Piers Morgan’s office, BBC foreign correspondent Nick Bryant has rattled Donald Rumsfeld, had tea with President Karzai, and lunched with the Tamil Tigers. Now casting a sideways glance at his own profession, Bryant divulges the day-to-day realities of life in ‘Correspondentland’ – its glamour, its quirks, and its sometimes unsavoury practices. Whether in Washington DC, offering a window onto American politics as no insider can, reporting from a slum in India, or revealing why the BBC delayed the news of Princess Diana’s death, Bryant’s perspective is inimitable and always insightful.
Part memoir, part travelogue, part exposé, this is an unmissable and unique view into the world of modern reporting, and an intimate portrait of the countries Bryant has come to know.
With wit and wisdom, BBC correspondent Bryant shares experiences at the network over the past decade and a half. In this insightful volume, he recalls personal endeavors whether as "a suits correspondent" in Washington, D.C., or among a "fraternity of boots" in Afghanistan and Pakistan while commenting on the evolving nature of the news industry. Following the death of Princess Diana, for example, Bryant noticed "the first full flowering" of "the couchification or the Oprafication of news." Journalists were no longer asked to simply report the facts, they also had to take "the pulse of the public" and "(feel) their pain." Referencing the Clinton and Bush administrations, Bryant combines a unique outsider's perspective with impressive insider knowledge, describing with detached amusement the ways in which he and White House press corps colleagues approached the Monica Lewinsky scandal, labeling the 453-page Starr Report "the world's most extensively researched and expensively produced work of pornography." He tackles the Bush-Gore election debacle as well as the September 11th attacks with similar aplomb. Bryant demonstrates commendable restraint in autobiographical oversharing, and he captures the right tone and mood of some of the biggest news stories of our time.