Reporting the Cold War for Reuters & BBC

It was tremendous fun discussing with Ian Sanders of Cold War Conversations my years first as student in East Germany and the Soviet Union in 1971/72, and then covering the communist world for the next 20 years for Reuters and the BBC.

Click the screenshots below for the recordings – first covering my student days in Leipzig in 1971 and reporting from Moscow 74-75, including my acquaintance with Andrei Sakharov, and then moving to the right the Stasi’s interest in my work, and finally focusing in on the much-trailed account of reporting the Romanian revolution.

And for an added bonus, here’s a selection of photos sent to Ian to accompany the series.

AND, as a further bonus, the following playlist includes most of the raw cassettes I recorded as BBC Radio China Correspondent from 1984-1987 and then as BBC World Service Diplomatic Correspondent from 1988-1992 as I covered the end of the Cold War, including the reunification of Germany, Tiananmen Square (before the tanks went in), the Romanian Revolution and the end of Yugoslavia.

The cassettes have been uploaded in their original form, without editing, and, I have to admit, in random order, and without particularly coherent system in the titles.

There are probably more than 600 hours of listening here, and access is provided without password, just with the request to handle the recordings with respect and curiosity, and to let Mark Brayne know (via the contact link above) how you found them and what you found interesting.

This page will be work in progress for a while, and I don’t rule out (written November 2020) returning here to bring some form of cataloguing order to the chaos below.

But there are some serious gems in here, including interviews with the Dalai Lama, live reporting from Tiananmen Square and Romania in 1989, and a good deal of raw From Our Own Correspondents and Radio Newsreel despatches.

Another era. Enjoy.

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