Posts Tagged ‘Alistair Cooke’

Nils Horner RIP

March 11, 2014

I tend to listen a great deal to radio – mainly Swedish Radio and the BBC. One of the high points every morning was listening to Nils Horner’s reports on Swedish radio from South Asia. Just yesterday I listened to his report on Fukushima 3 years after the great earthquake and Tsunami. Swedish Radio cannot afford too many overseas correspondents and Nils Horner covered all of South Asia. And this he did with great insight while still maintaining an admirable objectivity. He never found the need or gave in to the temptation to sensationalise his reports  – and in this day and age that was quite remarkable.

Nils Georg Anthony Horner was of dual British and Swedish nationality and had been Swedish Radio’s Middle East and later South Asia correspondent since 2001. He was a radio journalist and reporter of the old school and while he did not have the reach that they had through the BBC, I would put him in the same league as Alistair Cooke and Mark Tully. Like them he had the uncanny ability to evoke the mood and colour and smell of his locations. I always felt I was learning something new when listening to his reports. He was a sympathetic interviewer with a wonderful knack of drawing out his subjects without having to interrupt or harangue or talk down to them. He tried always to get the story and not just to score cheap brownie points.

He was shot and killed in Afghanistan today. He was working on a report on the upcoming Afghan election and especially the views of women.He was talking to his translator outside a restaurant in an affluent and well guarded area of Kabul when approached by 2 men. He was shot in the head with a silenced weapon.

Nils Horner  1962 - 2014

Nils Horner 1962 – 2014 photo AP

He was just 51 and I shall miss his reports.


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