Journalism: Egos, Ethics and Elites

A Ratiu Forum Journalism Webinar with Nick Thorpe and Julius Strauss

Thursday 31st March 2022, 16:00-17:00 EET (15:00 CET/14:00 GMT)

Few professions are so dominated by the egos of its practitioners – especially in conflict zones. But what of the ethics of what we report? Whose interests do we serve? And whose interests do we challenge? Do new media platforms democratise journalism, or threaten the whole idea of objectivity?
As Europe enters a pivotal moment in its modern history, with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, the role of journalists and their impartiality takes centre stage in our understanding of civil society. As Russia passes a landmark law threatening up to ‘15 years’ imprisonment for the spreading of misinformation’, the BBC suspends all reporting from the country.

journalism webinar

How to journalists in this heightened time ensure ethics and impartiality in what they report? How can we, if at all, remove egos and elites from the important work of factual reporting that must be done in conflict zones? In this 60-minute webinar, experienced international news correspondents Nick Thorpe (BBC) and Julius Strauss (distinguished war correspondent), will discuss how best to understand, interrogate and contextualise the role of egos and elites in reporting. And how to instil journalism with ethics, asking; who do we serve? In conversation with participants, they will examine examples of reporting from conflict zones and the challenges of recognising and mitigating conflicts of interest throughout our work

Please read the Note regarding personal information here (document in Romanian).

The event will be live-streamed on Facebook. 


Nick Thorpe

Nick Thorpe is a writer, film-maker and award-winning BBC journalist, specialising in eastern Europe and the Balkans, born in England in 1960. He studied Modern Languages at the Universities of Reading (UK), Dakar (Senegal) and Freiburg (Germany), graduating in 1982. He has lived in Budapest since 1986, is married and has 5 sons. He reported on the fall of Communism throughout Eastern Europe and the break-up of Yugoslavia for the BBC, Independent, Observer, and Guardian newspapers, including the wars in Croatia, Bosnia, Kosovo and Macedonia. He has been Central Europe Correspondent for the BBC since 1996. With BBC colleagues, he won a Peabody award for his coverage of the Refugee crisis in 2015, and a Lovie award for best internet reporting in 2018. 

He is the author of 3 books:

The Road Before Me Weeps – On the Refugee Route through Europe (Yale UP, 2019)

The Danube – A Journey Upriver from the Black Sea to the Black Forest (Yale UP, 2014)

’89 – The Unfinished Revolution – Power and Powerlessness in Eastern Europe (Reportage Press 2009, Endeavour Press 2015). 

He has also directed or presented 18 documentary films, most recently The Danube – Against the Flow (2020), a series for AMC/ Spektrum TV.


Julius Strauss

Julius Strauss was a long-serving correspondent for the Daily Telegraph who specialised in covering wars and other foreign stories. He was based in the Balkans for nearly 10 years and covered the end of the Bosnian war, the Kosovo war, and uprisings in Serbia, Macedonia and Albania. Later he became Moscow bureau chief for the Telegraph, where he worked for four years, covering Russia under Vladimir Putin and writing about notorious terrorist attacks in the early 2000s. As well as Bosnia and Kosovo, Strauss has covered wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Sierra Leone and Chechnya, as well as revolutions, uprisings and coups. Strauss worked with the US Marines in southern Afghanistan as a political officer during the Afghan war. He taught journalism for two years as a guest professor at the University of Alaska.

He now divides his time between Canada, where he runs a wilderness lodge that specialises in viewing grizzly bears and leads environmental and charity initiatives, and Europe where he teaches and writes. He has had two documentaries made about his life and endeavours and several articles written about him in the British and Canadian media. He was twice short-listed for British Foreign Correspondent of the Year.