BBC News has appointed Jon Donnison as the new Australia correspondent, commencing early August 2013. Jon has been the BBC’s Gaza and West Bank correspondent for the past three years.
Based in Sydney, Jon will report on the latest political, cultural and business news from Australia for international news channel BBC World News and BBC.com, as well as covering stories for the BBC’s news services within the UK.
Jon has spent 15 years working in broadcast journalism and this year was awarded the Silver Sony Award for Radio Journalist of the Year for his coverage of Gaza in 2012. Judges commented that Jon’s reports were ‘vivid and dramatic and often delivered when he was in grave danger but were always measured and beautifully crafted’.
Prior to his work in the Middle East, Jon was based in Washington, covering events across the US in a busy period during President Obama’s first year in office. He has also reported from Libya, Israel, Morocco, Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, France, Germany, Spain and Poland.
From 2002 – 2007 Jon worked in London as a producer and programme editor for BBC radio, and before this presented a daily world affairs programme World Watch for Radio New Zealand, based in Wellington.
Jon graduated in politics and French from Edinburgh University and completed his post-graduate studies in journalism at the University of Lancashire. He is fluent in French and passionate about cycling, both of which proved helpful when he reported on the 2002 Tour De France by cycling the entire 3200km route – the first journalist to do so.
Richard Porter, Controller of English, BBC Global News said “Jon Donnison is a very experienced, award-winning journalist who has spent the last three and a half years immersing himself in the story of Gaza and the West Bank. In what is an important election year for Australia, I know he’ll bring the same enthusiasm and dedication to delivering the country’s big stories to BBC audiences around the world.”
Jon comments, "Sydney is certainly going to be a change of scene from Gaza, although they do have the beach and the ocean in common. The patch is a little bit bigger mind you. The whole of Gaza would fit inside Australia around 21000 times! I'm really looking forward to the new challenge and the sheer variety of stories in Australia – from the elections to The Ashes to the environment to the economy."
Follow Jon on Twitter: @JonDonnison Jon will be replacing Nick Bryant, who is departing Australia to take up a new BBC posting in New York.