More Thrills than Skills – A Half-life in Journalism, Part 34

Over the next few weeks, allmediascotland.com is to publish, each weekday, extracts from the memoirs of Scottish war correspondent, Paul Harris. ‘More Thrills than Skills: A Half-life in Journalism’, is being scheduled for publication next year.

Hermann Goering had a special convertible model built to take him to war. The Skodas which took me me around the battlefields of Bosnia were two production line, three-year-old Rapid Coupes: they ran there for more than four years, suffered the most appalling abuse and covered almost 100,000 kilometres – much of it over unsurfaced roads – throughout Bosnia, Serbia, Kosovo, Croatia and Macedonia.

In the early days of the wars in former Yugoslavia, most journalists simply pitched up at the car rental desks at the airport and disappeared into the distance in a freshly valeted saloon. A considerable number of these hire cars, hardly surprisingly, never returned to base.