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Last Updated: Friday, 9 January, 2004, 17:28 GMT
Profile: Michael Buerk
Michael Buerk
Awarding-winning journalist Michael Buerk began reporting for the BBC in 1973

Michael Buerk has probably won more international awards for television reporting than any other British journalist, most notably for his coverage of the Ethiopian famine of 1984-85.

His reports, filmed with the Nairobi-based cameraman Mohamed Amin, alerted the world to the extent of the tragedy.

They were shown worldwide, to an audience of billions, and led directly to a massive international relief effort itself valued in billions of dollars, which was estimated to have saved millions of lives.

Michael began reporting for BBC News in 1973.

He was a network reporter from 1973-76, holding the positions of industrial correspondent, energy correspondent, Scotland correspondent, special correspondent and Southern Africa correspondent.

Michael has presented BBC Television's flagship news programme: The Ten O'clock News.

He has also presented the peak-time BBC One programme about emergencies, 999, and hosts BBC Radio 4's discussion programme on moral and ethical issues, The Moral Maze.

In addition to these regular commitments, he chairs, presents and reports for a number of other television and radio programmes, mostly for the BBC.

Big stories

These have recently included major events such as the Royal Wedding of Prince Edward, the eclipse and the BBC's Millennium night coverage. Programmes include BBC One's Tobacco Wars, Soul of Britain and the three-part series The Hand of God in 2003.

He has reported for the BBC from more than sixty countries and covered wars in the Middle East, Cyprus, El Salvador, Tigre, Uganda, Angola, Mozambique, Sri Lanka, Ethiopia and Somalia.

Michael spent long periods in the mid-1970s reporting on the troubles in Northern Ireland. He also reported from the Argentine capital, Buenos Aires, during the Falklands conflict and, of course, on the township uprisings in South Africa from 1983-87.

He has covered political, diplomatic, and economic developments from the North Slope of Alaska to Cape Horn, and from Calcutta to Katowice.

Apart from broadcasting, he lectures on international issues and environmental matters, and chairs conferences on current affairs, political and industrial questions.


He has won numerous awards, including the Royal Television Society's Television Journalist of the Year in 1984 and a British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) award for factual broadcasting.

He has also received awards from the United Nations and the Roman Catholic Church.

Michael Buerk has an MA from Bath University, a doctorate from the University of Bristol and a doctorate from Aston University in Birmingham.

He is visiting fellow at the Department of Journalism at City University, London.

He is married with twin sons, who are both now journalists themselves.


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