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Stephen Farrell (journalist)

Stephen Farrell
Born 1962
Occupation Journalist
Notable credit(s) The Times; The New York Times
Title Senior Staff Editor, The New York Times

Stephen Farrell is a journalist who holds both Irish and British citizenship.[1] Farrell began his career in the United Kingdom and worked for the The Times from 1995 to 2007 for whom he reported from Kosovo, India, Afghanistan and the Middle East, including Iraq. In 2007, he joined The New York Times, and reported from the Middle East, Afghanistan and Libya. Since 2012, Farrell has been based in New York and has reported on domestic US news stories such as Hurricane Sandy.

Early career and The Times

Farrell studied English Language and Literature at Edinburgh University in Scotland before becoming a journalist on a London local newspaper, a news agency and then the now-defunct Today newspaper, for which he reported from Britain, Northern Ireland and the Balkans.

After Today ceased publication in 1995 he joined The Times, working as a news reporter on stories such as the Dunblane school massacre in Scotland, the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, in Paris and the conflict in Kosovo. He became The Times’s South Asia correspondent in 2000, based in New Delhi and reporting from Afghanistan under Taliban rule, Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka and Myanmar. From 2001 to 2007 he was Middle East correspondent, covering the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the 2003 invasion of Iraq and its aftermath.

In April 2004, while on assignment for The Times, he was kidnapped by Sunni insurgents during the First Battle of Fallujah.[2] He was freed unharmed after eight hours of captivity.[3]

The New York Times

In July 2007, Farrell joined The New York Times, initially as a correspondent in Baghdad,[4] and later as a foreign correspondent reporting in print and video across the Middle East, including Libya, the Tahrir Square protests in Cairo and Jordan.

In 2007 he was part of the NYT's Baghdad bureau, which won the Overseas Press Club of America award for best web coverage of international affairs,[5] for the multimedia feature "Assessing the Surge: A Survey of Baghdad Neighborhoods".[6] The bureau's staff were finalists in the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting.[7]

From 2008, Farrell wrote the Baghdad Bureau blog which was renamed as "At War" in 2009 and expanded, becoming "a reported blog from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq and other conflicts in the post-9/11 era".[8] Farrell ran the At War blog from the field from 2009 until early 2012, when he handed over to editors based in New York.

On 5 September 2009, while Farrell and his interpreter Sultan Munadi were in a village south of Kunduz, Afghanistan, investigating reports of civilian casualties in a NATO strike on two fuel tankers that had been hijacked by the Taliban they were kidnapped.[9][10][11] On 9 September, four days after the kidnap, a British Army raid rescued Farrell. Corporal John Harrison, a British soldier from the 1st Battalion, The Parachute Regiment, Special Forces Support Group and Farrell's interpreter, Sultan Munadi were killed. During his captivity, media organizations and Wikipedia imposed a news blackout on his kidnapping, similar to that which had taken place during the kidnapping of fellow New York Times journalist David Rohde a few months earlier, for fear that media attention would increase the risk to the captives.[12] Prior to his kidnap Farrell had ignored repeated warnings that it was too dangerous to travel to the site and was later criticized for his actions which cost the life of one of the soldiers involved in his rescue.[13]

Farrell was detained again in Libya in March 2011.[14] The New York Times reported on 18 March 2011 that Libya had agreed to free him and three colleagues: Anthony Shadid, Lynsey Addario and Tyler Hicks.[15] Farrell was released on 21 March 2011, along with all of his colleagues.[16]

Farrell was part of the NYT reporting and graphics team which won Society for News Design and Malofiej awards for 18 Days at the Center of Egypt's Revolution, a graphic map of the February 2011 Egyptian protests in Cairo's Tahrir Square. The map was updated throughout the demonstrations, which led to the fall of President Hosni Mubarak.[17][18][19]

Farrell joined the NYT in New York in October 2012. He was a member of the NYT video journalism unit which won an online 2013 National Edward R. Murrow Award for its breaking news coverage of the impact of Hurricane Sandy on New York.[20]

Other writing

In March 2010 Farrell co-authored a history of Hamas, titled Hamas: The Islamic Resistance Movement,[21] with a British academic, Beverley Milton-Edwards.[22]


  1. ^ "Four die in Afghan rescue mission". BBC. 9 September 2009. Retrieved 2009-09-13. 
  2. ^ "Transcripts". CNN. Retrieved 2009-09-13. 
  3. ^ Swain, Jon (13 September 2009). "Stephen Farrell: Rescuing Robohack". London: Times Online. Retrieved 2009-09-14. [dead link]
  4. ^ "Names James Glanz as Baghdad Bureau Chief". The New York Observer. Retrieved 2009-09-13. 
  5. ^ Overseas Press Club. "Overseas Press Club of America". Overseas Press Club. 
  6. ^ "Assessing the ‘Surge': A Survey of Baghdad Neighborhoods". The New York Times. 15 December 2010. 
  7. ^
  8. ^ At War. "At War blog". The New York Times. 
  9. ^ Schmitt, Eric (9 September 2009). "Seized Times Reporter Is Freed in Afghan Raid That Kills Aide". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-09-13. 
  10. ^ "No 10 defends Afghanistan rescue". BBC. 11 September 2009. Retrieved 2009-09-13. 
  11. ^ Berlin to Pay Afghan Families for Fatal Attack The New York Times 2010-08-10
  12. ^ Schmitt, Eric (9 September 2009). "Seized Times Reporter Is Freed in Afghan Raid That Kills Aide". New York Times. Retrieved 2009-09-09. 
  13. ^ Pierce, Andrew (9 Sep 2009). "Army anger as soldier killed saving journalist who ignored Taliban warning". London: The Telegraph. Retrieved 8 October 2013. 
  14. ^ Norman, Joshua (16 March 2011). "Four New York Times staffers go missing in Libya". CBS News. 
  15. ^ Kirkpatrick, David (18 March 2011). "Libya Says It Will Release Times Journalists". New York Times. Retrieved 18 March 2011. 
  16. ^ Peters, Jeremy W. (21 March 2011). "Libya Releases 4 New York Times Journalists". The New York Times. 
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^ Farrell, Stephen (12 February 2011). "18 Days at the Center of Egypt's Revolution". The New York Times. 
  20. ^ 2013 National Edward R. Murrow Award Winners - Online News Organizations
  21. ^
  22. ^ Farrell and Milton Edwards (2010). Hamas: The Islamic Resistance Movement. Cambridge, UK: Polity. ISBN 9780745642956. 

External links