Conference info

‘I’m against the idea of pinning down the story before you go to the field’ – Christina Lamb

Chief foreign correspondent for the Sunday Times, Christina Lamb, joined the Well Told festival on Skype from Congo and emphasised the importance of immersing yourself in the field and not just relying on research.

Her journey as a reporter began with an unexpected wedding invitation which led her to move to Peshawar aged just 22 to cover mujahideen.

Lamb spoke to attendees at the festival from her hotel room in Goma, Congo, where she is currently in the field reporting, and also talked about how her reporting has introduced her to amazing people, many of whom have got through awful circumstances.

Lamb believes reading about events and circumstances in foreign countries from a distance isn’t enough. She is against the idea of pinning down the story before you go into the field, she explained.

She talked about how as a foreign correspondent covering conflict around the world she was seeing more violence against women than ever before in her career. In addition, journalists, in general, have become targets.

“We’ve become targets in a way we never were which has made this job a lot more challenging.”

She also goes on to explain that all she wants to do is tell stories about people whom she’s met. “Women in the Congo have thanked me for reporting. They can’t believe the things that are going on here and no one is doing anything about it.”


Words by Molly Dowrick



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