Top Media Names Lined up for Edinburgh Book Festival

Leading political journalist, John Simpson, and BBC Newsnight presenter, Gavin Esler, are just two of the top media names lined up to appear at this year’s Edinburgh Book Festival.

Beginning a week on Saturday, the 17-day event is set to attract scores of journalists from across the UK.

Among others, BBC world affair’s editor, Simpson, will be on hand to debate whether the press can ever truly be free, while Esler has been invited to discuss his second novel, Power Play.

Former BBC war correspondent, David Shukman, is also scheduled to make an appearance to confer stories of some of his most challenging assignments during 25 years on screen.

Meanwhile, Edinburgh-based writer, James Fergusson – who has written for several different newspapers including the Independent and Daily Mail – will join Jim Frederick, executive editor at TIME magazine, to discuss the war strategy in Iraq and Afghanistan.

A series of workshops has also been incorporated into the festival, with freelance journalist, Danuta Kean, dishing out advice both on how to make it as a freelancer and secure a book deal.

Here is a list of just some of those set to appear:

• Bell, Martin – How we Can Rebuild Faith in Politics After the Expenses Scandal, Wednesday August 18

• Bloomfield, Steve – How Africa Explains Football, and Football Explains Africa, Thursday August 26

• Bragg, Melvyn – Memories of 30 Years at the Frontline of High and Popular Culture, Saturday August 28

• Brooke, Heather – Award-winning Writer and Activist Who Helped Break the Expenses Scandal, Saturday August 21

• Dyer, Gwynne – Why Climate Change Could Drive the World to War, Monday August 23

• Esler, Gavin – The BBC Newsnight Presenter Turns his Hand to Fiction, Thursday August 19

• Fergusson, James and Frederick, Jim – Startling New Perspectives on Iraq and Afghanistan, Monday August 16

• Husseini, Rana – Exposing the Epidemic of Honour Killings in Jordan, Saturday August 14

• Kay, John – When Direct Methods Don’t Solve Complex Problems, Friday August 20

• Keane, Fergal – Epic Story of the British Empire’s Last Stand, Saturday August 14

• Kent, Nick – Dispatches From a Defining Decade for Music Culture, Friday August 27

• Malik, Zaiba – An Account of the British Muslim Experience by a Leading Journalist, Sunday August 22

• McAllester, Matt – A Heartbreaking Memoir of a Man’s Love for his Mother, Sunday August 15

• McCrum, Robert – Globish: The Linguistic Phenomenon of the 21st Century, Friday August 27

• Millar, Peter and Stone, Norman – A Foreign Correspondent and a Rigorous Historian Discuss the End of an Era, Friday August 20

• Rashid, Ahmed – How the War Against Islamic Extremism is Being Lost, Tuesday August 17

• Rawnsley, Andrew – The Definitive Account of the Rise and Fall of New Labour, Saturday August 28

• Shukman, David – How a BBC War Correspondent Turned Green, Friday August 27

• Smith, David James – Portrait of Nelson Mandela as a Young Man, Saturday 28 August

• Simpson, John – Can The Press Ever Be Truly Free, Thursday August 26

• Toynbee, Polly and Walker, David – How Did New Labour Change Britain? Sunday August 29

• Urban, Mark – How Britain’s Secret Forces Averted Disaster In Iraq, Thursday August 26

• Younge, Gary – A Provocative Analysis of Identity Politics, Sunday August 15