Distinguished BBC correspondent receives honorary degree from Keele University
A veteran international news correspondent has been awarded an honorary degree from Keele University for her distinguished and extensive achievements in journalism.
Lyse Doucet OBE, the BBC’s Chief International Correspondent, was made a Doctor of Letters at this week’s Winter Graduation ceremonies, when hundreds of students returned to campus with their families to celebrate their achievements.
Lyse’s work has taken her all around the globe. Originally from Canada, she began her career as a freelancer in West Africa for the BBC and Canadian media, before taking a permanent role as a BBC correspondent in the late 1980s.
Most recently she has been reporting on the Israel/Gaza conflict, and from Kyiv in Ukraine following the Russian invasion, but has also reported from places like Afghanistan, Syria, and Pakistan during significant events from their recent history.
Her many accolades for her broadcast journalism work include a Royal Television Society award, a Peabody award, and a Bayeux-Calvados Award for war correspondents, while her team was also part of the BBC team that won an Emmy for its coverage of the conflict in Syria.
Lyse herself was made an OBE in 2014 for services to British broadcast journalism, and she was appointed as a member of the Order of Canada in 2018.
Lyse said: “This is not your ivory tower university, this is a university which, even though it’s in the middle of this gorgeous countryside, is so connected to the local community, to the world beyond.
“I love the emphasis on research, on practical solutions, not saying ‘let’s study the world and then go out and change the world’, it’s all part of the university learning, and the motto is ‘Make a Difference’. I think that’s fantastic, it should be a mantra for the world.”
She also urged graduates to take their education and global outlook from their time at Keele, and to use it to make a difference in the world, adding: “Never have we known so much about the world, and never have we been able to do so much about the world. It’s a terrifying time to be a graduate, but it’s an exciting time, and I do believe in the power of the person – not giving up your dreams. I often use the expression “the sheer force of personality”; just keep going.”
“We say now that international news is not foreign. Look at the graduating class today; students from Nigeria, China, India, from so many countries, and their families and friends are here. The world’s problems are not ‘somewhere over there’. The people and the issues are right in our own midst, they’re our stories too. To turn your back on the world is to turn your back on your own environment and own future.”
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