I have been writing, shooting and broadcasting in Canada and abroad for 39 years.

I entered the news business in 1980 as a writer/photographer with the Halifax Herald, Atlantic Canada's largest daily newspaper. In 1984, I joined The Canadian Press, the country's national wire service. Over the next 29 years, I traveled Canada and the world, writing, shooting and broadcasting for newspaper, magazine, radio, television and, later, online clients.

For 15 of those years, a good deal of my written work was devoted to disasters and war: Afghanistan; Kosovo; South Africa; the 1998 crash of Swissair Flight 111; the 1992 coal-mine explosion at Westray, N.S.; the 1985 Arrow Air crash at Gander, N.L.; the crash of Air Ontario Flight 1363 at Dryden, Ont., and more than a dozen sea disasters off Canada's Atlantic and Arctic coasts.

There were other stories, too: the discovery of RMS Titanic; the Ben Johnson drugs-in-sport saga; scandals, crises and territorial disputes in Canada's offshore fishing industries; major crime; federal politics; major-league sports.

I've covered race riots in Soweto, South Africa, flown into combat with Canadian and U.S. troops in Afghanistan and dove in a mini-submarine to a previously undiscovered WWII shipwreck sitting upright on the bottom of the North Atlantic. I rode the train with Pierre Trudeau's casket as he went home for the last time and wrote Yousuf Karsh's obituary for the international wire. I interviewed political leaders, Nobel laureates, grieving families, wounded soldiers, disaster survivors, artists, heroes, villains, celebrities, entertainers and sports icons.

I have walked the windswept sands of Sable Island, chased the dancing northern lights in the High Arctic, and ascended the lofty peaks of the Canadian Rockies — and the Hindu Kush. My heart sank as I stepped among the ruins of an ethnically cleansed village in Kosovo and it soared as I scanned the majestic plains of Kruger National Park east of Johannesburg. I've sat face-to-face with al-Qaida fighters, lunched with Taliban warlords, and bunked with Canadian cowboys.

I am now a staff writer, photographer and a copy editor at Legion Magazine, Canada’s premiere chronicle of military history, veterans issues and national defence. You can find my features and weekly online c0lumn, Front Lines, at


Stephen Thorne