Alan Fisher (broadcast journalist)

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Alan Fisher
Born Motherwell, North Lanarkshire, Scotland
Residence Washington, DC
Occupation TV presenter and journalist
Years active 1983–present
Employer Al Jazeera English
Scottish TV
Grampian TV (1986–1990)
Northsound Radio
Moray Firth Radio
Motherwell Times
Home town Motherwell, North Lanarkshire, Scotland

Alan Fisher is a Scottish broadcast journalist and war correspondent.

For many years he worked at GMTV, but now works for international news channel Al Jazeera English, where he is a Senior Correspondent at the broadcast centre in Washington DC.[1]

Early life & education[edit]

Fisher was born in Motherwell in Scotland and attended Dalziel High School.[2][3]

He studied journalism at what was then Napier College in Edinburgh.[2][citation needed] He graduated with an M.A. from the University of Leicester, where he wrote his thesis on the work of war correspondents.[4]


Fisher began his career working for his local newspaper Motherwell Times.[5] His first job was at Moray Firth Radio in 1983.[6][7][8] And then North Sound Radio before he moved to what was then Grampian TV (now STV North) and then Scottish TV before moving to GMTV, where he worked for 13 years. In 2005 he joined Al Jazeera.[9] He worked at both GMTV and Al Jazeera while they were launching new services. He joined GMTV in 1992. GMTV was launched in January 1993. While at GMTV, Fisher was a TV reporter in Belfast for three years, senior news correspondent based in London for four and chief correspondent for six years.[10] Al Jazeera English was launched in 2006.[11]

Journalism Highlights

Alan Fisher reported from Iraq during the 2003 invasion for GMTV.[12] While at GMTV, he also covered the Irish ceasefire agreements in 1994, the Dunblane school massacre in 1996, the Indian earthquake in 2001, and the 2005 London bombings on 7/7.[9][13][14] Fisher interviewed Irish President Mary Robinson in 1993.[15] He said the death of Princess Diana was the biggest news event he covered while at GMTV.[9]

While based in the United States, Fisher covered Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's presidential campaign in 2012. He anchored Al Jazeera's coverage from the Republican Convention in Tampa and co-anchored coverage of the three presidential and one vice-president debate. He also featured heavily in the station's coverage of President Barack Obama's second inauguration. He wrote the book Romney's Run following the election with all profits going to journalism charities.[16]

He has interviewed Bill and Melinda Gates for the "Talk to Al Jazeera" series.[17]


As a reporter for GMTV, Alan Fisher intervened on behalf of dual US-British citizen Kenny Richey who was on death row in the United States. Fisher contacted actress Susan Sarandon, provided her with GMTV reports, and issued an authorised statement on her behalf. Fisher acted on Richey's behalf one year after interviewing him in prison.[18] He is a former director and trustee of the Institute of Contemporary Scotland[19]


Alan Fisher was nominated for story of the year by the Foreign Press Association for his Al Jazeera piece called "Russian Advance from Gori to Tblisi", which was written while covering the Russia–Georgia war. In that story, he followed a Russian military convoy to Tblisi.[20] His reports were also part of the International News Emmy nominations Al Jazeera English received for its coverage in Georgia and during the Israeli offensive in Gaza.[21][22] He was a significant part of the team which covered the Egyptian Revolution for which the channel won a prestigious Peabody Award.[23] A Patron of the Young UK programme, which aims to develop the mind and broaden the horizons of young people under the age of 30, he was awarded the Inveramsay Medal in recognition of his efforts[24]

In popular culture

Alan Fisher made a guest appearance as a journalist on the ITV program Bad Girls in 2005.[25]

He wrote a chapter for the academic and journalism book Mirage in the Desert: Reporting the Arab Spring[26] covering the use of social media and its application for Al Jazeera's award winning coverage of the Arab Spring.[27] This article was later cited by prominent academic Stuart Allan in his book[28] "Citizen Witnessing: Key Concepts in Journalism". He has also written and spoken about the growing use of social media by journalists.[7]

Fisher was mentioned in the book "An English Fan Abroad" for his performance in a football match between English and German supporters at Euro 2000 after he scored two goals for the England side.[dubious ][29]

A popular speaker and chair of conferences,[30][31] he has spoken extensively on the role of journalists and breaking news coverage in a crisis.[32] He has been involved in a number of events to mark Press Freedom Day.[33][34][35] And his contribution to the ICTD Conference in Atlanta was described by one of the organisers as a "brilliant tour de force"[36] He has also chaired events at the famous Edinburgh Television Festival, including a debate entitled "TV War: What is it Good For".[37]

He has spoken and lectured at the London School of Economics Summer School[38] and at a number of universities across the world.[39]

A keen runner, he completed the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington DC and Virginia in October 2014.

Selected works[edit]

Russia-Georgia war


  1. ^ "Al Jazeera Profile". Al Jazeera. 
  2. ^ a b Fisher, Alan. "About Me". Retrieved 13 May 2013. 
  3. ^ Reunited, Friends. "Famous Pupils at Dalziel". Retrieved 27 May 2013. 
  4. ^ Fisher, Alan (6 March 2012). "Journalists lauding their dead can be a mawkish spectacle". Archived from the original on 17 October 2013. Retrieved 12 May 2013. 
  5. ^ "Scottish Review:". Archived from the original on 2 November 2013. 
  6. ^ "Alan Fisher". 21 May 2009. Retrieved 12 May 2013. 
  7. ^ a b Hamish Mackay. "Al Jazeera TV reporter Alan Fisher defends use of social media as aid for journalists". The Drum. 
  8. ^ "Adam Ash". 
  9. ^ a b c McQueen, Craig (22 December 2005). "Good Morning: The Scots Broadcaster Quits GMTV For A Challenging New Role". Daily Record.  – via HighBeam Research (subscription required). Retrieved 12 May 2013. 
  10. ^ Fisher, Alan (21 July 2009). "The sofa bounces back". Archived from the original on 27 September 2013. Retrieved 13 May 2013. 
  11. ^ "Do not adjust your sets: An alternative view of the world". The Independent. London. 15 November 2006. 
  12. ^ "I'm taking my hairdryer into the desert... I can't report with dirty hair". Daily Record.  – via HighBeam Research (subscription required). 13 March 2003. Retrieved 12 May 2013. 
  13. ^ Spavin, Vicki (20 March 2001). "A new sense of hope is rising from the rubble; In January, Scots GMTV newsman Alan Fisher flew to India after an earthquake claimed 100,000 lives. Last week, he returned to see how people are recovering from the tragedy. Here, he tells how the nation is fighting for survival.". Daily Record.  – via HighBeam Research (subscription required). Retrieved 21 May 2013. 
  14. ^ Fisher, Alan (4 January 2003). "Waking Up Our World". Daily Record.  – via HighBeam Research (subscription required). Retrieved 12 May 2013. 
  15. ^ Cooney, John (26 May 1993). "Tea for two at palace breaks an old barrier". The Herald (Glasgow, Scotland). Retrieved 12 May 2013. 
  16. ^ Burns, Andrew. "Alan Fisher: "Obama's Inauguration was Incredible"" (interview). 
  17. ^ Fisher, Alan (2 September 2012). "Bill and Melinda Gates: Changing the world". Al Jazeera. Retrieved 21 May 2013. 
  18. ^ "Sarandon bid to stop execution". CNN. 4 September 2002. Archived from the original on 18 February 2008. Retrieved 13 May 2013. 
  19. ^ "Institute Of Contemporary Scotland". Company Data REX. 
  20. ^ "Al Jazeera Receives Prestigious Foreign Press Association Media Award". Zawya. 26 November 2008. Retrieved 12 May 2013. 
  21. ^
  22. ^ Plunkett, John (12 August 2010). "International Emmy nominees include Sky News, Channel 4 and al-Jazeera". The Guardian. London. 
  23. ^ "Al Jazeera English wins Peabody Award". 
  24. ^ "Finals". Archived from the original on 25 August 2012. 
  25. ^ Fisher, Alan (30 January 2005). "I was bad boy..for just a day". Sunday Mail.  – via HighBeam Research (subscription required). Retrieved 12 May 2013. 
  26. ^ "Mirage In The Desert? Reporting The 'Arab Spring'". 
  27. ^ Fisher, Alan (2011). John Mair and Richard Lance Keeble, ed. Mirage in the Desert? Reporting the Arab Spring. Bury St Edmunds, UK: Aramis Academic Publishing. pp. 149–159. ISBN 9781845495145. 
  28. ^ Allan, Stuart (2013). Citizen Witnessing. Cambridge: polity. p. 213. ISBN 978-0-7456-5195-8. 
  29. ^ An English Fan Abroad: Euro 2000 and Beyond. Retrieved 21 May 2013. 
  30. ^ "Countering radicalisation: perspectives and strategies from around the globe" (PDF). [permanent dead link]
  31. ^
  32. ^
  33. ^ "Alan Fisher - Cazhenshaw's Weblog". 
  34. ^ "AEJ UK Section - World Press Freedom Day". 
  35. ^
  36. ^ "Mobiles, Social Media and Democracy". Tim Unwin's Blog. 
  37. ^ "The Guardian Edinburgh International Television Festival" (PDF). 
  38. ^ "Polis – POLIS Journalism Conference: Reporting The World March 23rd #POLIS12". Polis. 
  39. ^

External links[edit]