Statement

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 Canada’s High Arctic, and ascended the lofty peaks of the Rocky Mountains — 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 legionmagazine.com.

 

Stephen Thorne