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Is Anything Happening? My Life as a Newsman Hardcover – 19 Jan 2017

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Biteback Publishing (19 Jan. 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1785901036
  • ISBN-13: 978-1785901034
  • Product Dimensions: 16.2 x 3.2 x 24.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 6,398 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


"This memoir is everything you would expect from its author: intelligent, shrewd, witty, civilised and great company. He lifts the lid on life within BBC newsrooms and captures the fun of touring the world's trouble spots as an eyewitness to great events and interviewing the lead characters. Along the way, he reminds us why serious journalism still matters." --Richard Sambrook, Professor of Journalism, Cardiff University, and former Director, BBC News

"Robin Lustig's memoir is an engaging mix of anecdote, reportage, reflection and the odd bit of gossip - as good a late-night companion as his voice on Radio 4's The World Tonight." --Lindsey Hilsum, International Editor, Channel 4 News

"This is a wonderfully evocative and sympathetic memoir. Robin Lustig, a prince of BBC journalism as reporter and presenter for more than twenty years, tells his stories with a range of brilliant and often witty anecdotes, sharp observation and an unstinting generosity of spirit. He has been everywhere and seen much - but there is no cynicism. The humanity of the man shines through." --Mark Damazer, Master, St Peter's College, Oxford, and former Controller, BBC Radio 4

About the Author

Robin Lustig is a British journalist and radio broadcaster. He started his career in journalism as foreign correspondent with the news agency Reuters, before moving onto The Observer for twelve years. He joined the BBC in 1989, presenting programmes such as The World Tonight, Newsstand, Stop Press and File on 4 for Radio 4, and Newshour on the BBC World Service. In 2013, he received the Charles Wheeler award for outstanding contribution to broadcast journalism.

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Is Anything Happening is a well-crafted and carefully thought out book. Robin Lustig is such an accomplished story-teller that he engages the reader not only with an absorbing front-seat review of his 42 years as a newsman but also with a sympathetic account of his Jewish parents making a new life for themselves having fled Nazi Germany, and of his own precocious childhood in post-War Britain. He deals with his colourful career, which took him from Reuters to The Observer and the BBC - three very different news organisatons - and with those both grand and humble whom he met along the way, with modesty, humour and professional detachment. He is never short of an amusing anecdote, but he is also incisive and serious, both about the many major stories he covered and also with his descriptions of the internal politics of The Observer and the machinations of the BBC. His appraisal of Israel, where he was based for some years, is courageous: he believes the foundation of the Jewish state in 1948 ‘may well have been, in retrospect, a mistake’. He even makes his gap year – teaching music in Kampala before he went to study at the heady new University of Sussex – into an entertaining read, although in one respect he is on safer ground at sea-level. Never much of a sportsman at school, on this first of many trips to Africa he manages to climb Kilimanjaro aged 19, but he is emphatically wrong to state that this 5,895-metre peak is the highest you can climb without artificial oxygen. Mountaineers have summited even the roof of the world with nothing more than the thin air they can suck through their noses and mouths. This niggling error does nothing to diminish the authority and dignity of a book that renders great service to the much misunderstood profession of news gathering, and which ends with an interesting and not totally downbeat critique of its future.
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