Martin Bell

Martin Bell is a UNICEF ambassador, former broadcast war reporter and former independent MP who is always seen wearing a distinguishable white blazer.

The journalist joined the BBC as a reporter in Norwich in 1962 and has astonishingly covered 11 conflicts and reported from 80 countries.

In his reports from Bosnia and the village of Ahmici and from Vukovar, Bell showed:

  • what was happening to refugees and their stories
  • how many people were affected by conflict
  • children and women crying, old and vulnerable people and people hiding in their homes
  • people firing weapons and guns
  • soldiers on battlefields and military forces
  • destroyed buildings

Throughout a lot of Martin Bell’s work he gets into the action and really close in all of his reports. He’s able to do this because he is an independent journalist and he’s isn’t restricted by being embedded. To work like this, he only needs a camera man and a translator with him. To me, reporting war independently like Bell is better than being an embedded journalist. By doing so, it ensures that as a journalist you are telling people the truth. Particularly, Bell is inspiring because he expresses how conflicts effect innocent people.

In an interview on his career at The Frontline Club, 2011 it was revealed:

  • his first story he ever did as a journalist wasn’t serious at all
  • news came from Alexandra Palace at the time he got sent to cover Vietnam
  • he used to spend a whole day working on a 60 second script for reporting
  • he started to cover nothing but wars
  • in his first Vietnam assignment he didn’t show any Vietnamese people, he only showed the American military forces and he was very embedded
  • he relates his first report on Vietnam to how Afghanistan is reported
  • he decided to stop imitating other people
  • started to speak to Vietnamese people and went and did work with other people
  • lost his contacts
  • he got his translator killed by going to speak to so many people, he feels guilty for getting the young man involved in his work

From looking at Martin Bell’s life, it’s clear that he is very hardworking and it’s important to him to tell people the truth. All of the risks he took to show people what was actually happening at war is really inspiring.


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