More thrills than skills – A half-life in journalism, part 61

Over the next few weeks, is to publish, each weekday, edited 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.

WHENEVER I talk about my experiences – whether on cruise ships, at social gatherings or commercial events like conferences – in the conflict zones of the world, the burning issue which most listeners want to know about is the money.

Most people fondly imagine that, if you put your life on the line, for whatever personal reason, then you will be handsomely remunerated. I agree wholeheartedly with that concept but, alas, in reality, a freelance journalist is, generally speaking, pathetically remunerated.

Of course, it is different for international megastars. The ITN correspondent and newscaster, Sandy Gall, gave his autobiography the title, Don’t Worry About The Money Now.

The title originated with a reassurance given to him back in 1955, by his desk editor in London, as he was sent off to East Africa.