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Public lecture by former Middle East hostage John McCarthy

10 November 2014

John McCarthy

John McCarthy, former journalist and Britain's longest-held hostage in Lebanon, will present a public lecture hosted by Cardiff University's School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies and supported by the Nick Lewis Memorial Trust.

John was working as a journalist at the time of his kidnap in Lebanon in April 1986, and was held in captivity until his release on 8 August 1991. He was held for 1,943 days.

The lecture entitled 'There is no black and white – Seeking the perspective of others' will see John talk about his experiences as a hostage and his reflections on what he learned about himself and about broader human interaction. He will also talk about his work as a journalist following his release.

The lecture will be the first in an annual programme of memorial lectures dedicated to the life of Welsh journalist Nick Lewis.

Nick died of cancer in November 1999 at the age of 43. Following his passing, the Nick Lewis Memorial Trust was established to support young journalists with scholarships, exhibitions and bursaries. The trust is managed by Nick's former colleagues, Media Wales' Chief Reporter Martin Shipton and PG Public Relations Director Nigel Gabriel.

For almost 20 years Nick Lewis worked on daily morning and evening papers, London weeklies, BBC Radio and was instrumental in the launch of Wales on Sunday, ending up as its Chief Sub Editor.

Director of the Centre for Journalism at Cardiff University, Professor Richard Sambrook, commented: "I am delighted that the inaugural Nick Lewis Memorial Lecture will be given by John McCarthy - someone whose experience and perspective will be of huge interest and value to those interested in journalism, the Middle East and current events."

The event represents an opportunity for people from across South Wales to take advantage of the University's extensive range of public events and also to hear first-hand the dramatic story of an important figure in the history of the Lebanon hostage crisis which saw hostages from many national backgrounds taken captive between 1982 and 1992.

The lecture will be held at Cardiff University's Julian Hodge building at 7:00pm on November 18. Light refreshments will be available before the event.

Those wishing to attend must register using the University's public events registration page