When a journalist is the story
A LARGE crowd packed the Byron Bay Writers Festival yesterday to see one of Australia's most respected journalists and one of the world's most accomplished reporters discuss the trials and tribulations of being a foreign correspondent.
There was nowhere to stand, let alone a spare seat, at the Southern Cross University marquee as hundreds of people listened to the tales of American war correspondent Megan Stack.
ABC television journalist Kerry O'Brien was late for his Keynote Conversation session with Mrs Stack, but when he did arrive he did not disappoint.
The one-hour conversation was centred around Mrs Stack's new book, Every Man in This Village Is a Liar, in which she describes returning to normal life after covering conflicts in the Middle East and Afghanistan for the Los Angeles Times.
“I went back to America after I had this great adventure in my life,” she said.
“I didn't understand a lot of things.
“There was so much fear and anxiety that I could not relate to at all.”
Mr O'Brien responded by reading an excerpt from her book which stated she was ‘shipwrecked by her car and her job', asking and then begging her editor to send her to the Middle East to cover the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
“You wanted to escape from a life that most people look forward to,” Mr O'Brien said.
Mrs Stack, who is now based in Beijing as a correspondent for the Los Angeles Times, has covered wars in 22 countries including reporting on the war in Iraq.