War reporter Allan Little honoured by Edinburgh University today

WAR reporters are a big thing on the Milne Media bookshelf.

There's accounts from the likes of Sandy Gall, Fergal Keane, John Simpson, William Shawcross and John Pilger to name a few.

Jeremy Bowen who provided days of huge entertainment on one particular trip is up there too, while Chris Ayres' book War Reporting for Cowards remains one of the funniest I've had the pleasure of reading.

But it is a home grown talent who captures the attention today.

Allan Little, who was once named Bayeux War Correspondent of the Year and a Sony Radio Award for Reporter of the Year, picks up an Honorary Degree from Edinburgh University today.

He read history and politics there as a student.

I fear most of those I'm currently working with will be too young to appreciate his work, but this is the guy who reported from Baghdad during the Gulf War in 1991 and stayed on in its aftermath.

His were proper, gritty reports from places he clearly shouldn't have been and I watched them with morbid fascination.

I also followed his reports from what was then Yugoslavia where he spent for or five years watching the country implode, leading to another great book with Laura Silber, The Death of Yugoslavia.

He was also left to watch Africa pick up the pieces after the genocide in Rwanda and has popped up in places as far flung as Moscow, Paris and Afghanistan in recent times.

So the fact that the seat of learning which helped inspire his career is now recognising his contribution to journalism is a great thing.

We can only imagine some of the things he saw in bringing those reports home.

And he's surely well deserving of the accolade. At least, in my book.

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