Africa correspondent Mark Doyle leaves the BBC this year after 26 years reporting in the field. Doyle and other foreign correspondents are expert voices because they experience reality in the places they cover.
“Not just parachuting in for the big stories but living here. Seized by an impulse to question, to understand, to get to the bottom of things,” says his colleague Andrew Harding in a tribute.
They are journalists for whom online is a platform, not a way of life. And they are probably a dying breed as news organisations continue to cut budgets in the battle to compete with competitors that depend more or less completely on online sources for their foreign news.
But as Harding points out in his BBC blog: “there is no substitute for the journalist who knows you don’t find real news online behind a desk”. I can agree wholeheartedly with that!