Just a Drop's annual lecture for 2017; 'Danger, Deadlines & Frontlines: a Glimpse into the Lives of Foreign Correspondents', saw leading foreign correspondents discuss their experiences reporting from some of the most challenging environments across the world

Award winning foreign correspondents Jeremy Bowen, BBC Middle East Editor; Christina Lamb OBE, Chief Foreign Correspondent at The Sunday Times; Mark MacKinnon, Senior International Correspondent, The Globe and Mail; Matthew Price, Chief Correspondent for BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme; and Sue Turton, freelance journalist and documentary filmmaker; joined international water charity Just a Drop on 2 February 2017 at the Royal Geographical Society, for our annual RGS lecture: 'Danger, Deadlines & Frontlines: A Glimpse into the Lives of Foreign Correspondents'.

The evening presented a unique opportunity to hear award-winning foreign correspondents discuss their experiences reporting from some of the most challenging environments across the world, share stories from the field, and examine the role of journalism in conflict zones. The evening turned out to be in turn thought-provoking, gripping, humorous, hard-hitting, inspiring; and riveting throughout.

BBC's Middle East Editor Jeremy Bowen described the split-second decisions foreign correspondents have to make in dangerous and rapidly changing frontline situations - which can make a difference between life and death. We heard how trying to shave with Perrier when stuck in Sarajevo without water is not a good idea (too many bubbles!).

Matthew Price, Chief Foreign Correspondent at BBC Radio 4's Today programme, described a press trip in 2011 put on by the Gaddafi regime in Libya, a tour which only showed one side of a story and which rapidly spiralled into a hostage situation for the foreign journalists, as it became apparent that the regime was crumbling - and the downfall of Gaddafi was imminent.

Mark MacKinnon, Senior International Correspondent at The Globe and Mail, gave us fascinating, if a little terrifying, insights into shifting global politics, and the beginnings of a new world order...

Sue Turton, Freelance Journalist and Documentary Filmmaker, discussed interviewing warlords in Syria, who, outraged that she was not only Western but also a woman, eventually agreed to speak to her only if she wouldn't look them in the eye, and would stood behind her translator, handing him her questions to read out.. Sue argued how important it is as a journalist not to shield people from what she witnesses, however harrowing.

Christina Lamb, Chief Foreign Correspondent at The Sunday Times, shared her experiences of travelling with Benazir Bhutto during a failed assassination attempt... and inviting an Osama Bin-Laden link man to her son's bake sale.

Whilst Stephen Sackur, BBC HARDTalk presenter, and Just a Drop Charity Patron, made an excellent host for the evening. 

All proceeds from the evening went to Just a Drop, and our work providing communities in remote and challenging environments across the world with access to clean safe water and sanitation.

This year’s event followed the success of the charity’s 2016 lecture, ‘Life Behind the Lens’ with wildlife producers Patrick Morris, BBC, and Huw Cordey, Silverback Films.

Jeremy Bowen is currently the BBC’s Middle East Editor, and has worked for the BBC since 1984, reporting from over 70 countries, predominantly in the Middle East and the Balkans. Christina Lamb OBE is Chief Foreign Correspondent for The Sunday Times, and is also a best-selling author, having written ‘I Am Malala’ with Malala Yousafzai, named Nonfiction Book of the Year in the British Book Awards. Mark MacKinnon, is Senior International Correspondent at The Globe and Mail and has recently reported on the Syrian refugee crisis, the rise of Islamic State, the war in eastern Ukraine and Scotland's independence referendum. Matthew Price works as the Chief Correspondent for BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, and has covered the earthquake in Haiti in 2010, and the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Sierra Leone. Sue Turton is a freelance journalist and documentary filmmaker. She previously worked for Al Jazeera English as the channel’s first Afghanistan Correspondent, and has also covered the Libyan revolution and the conflict in Syria.

A huge thanks to Jeremy, Matthew, Mark, Sue, Christina and Stephen - and to our audience for the evening - for all of your support.