Early in his journalistic career, New Yorker staff writer Ben Taub travelled to the Turkish–Syrian border to report on the devastating Syrian War. A recipient of a George Polk Awards in Magazine Reporting, he has since covered topics ranging from jihadi recruitment in Europe to human trafficking between Nigeria and Italy. The acclaimed journalist is in conversation with journalist Hamish Macdonald about his distinguished reportage – in particular, his extensive coverage of the ongoing crisis in Syria.

Ben Taub (International)

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Ben Taub joined The New Yorker as a staff writer in 2017. He has written for the magazine about jihadi recruitment in Europe, war crimes in Syria, battlefield medicine, converging crises in the Sahel, and human trafficking along the trans-Saharan migration routes from Nigeria to Italy. In 2014, he received a B.A. in philosophy from Princeton; the next year, he completed an M.A. in politics at Columbia’s Graduate School of Journalism. In 2017, Taub’s work on Syria, which was supported by the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, was short-listed for a National Magazine Award and won the Livingston Award for International Reporting, the Robert F. Kennedy Award for International Print reporting, and the Overseas Press Club Award for Investigative Reporting. Taub also received the ASME Next Award for Journalists Under 30, and was named one of the Forbes 30 Under 30 in Media.

Hamish Macdonald (Australian)

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Hamish Macdonald is an award winning broadcaster and foreign correspondent, and fellow at Harvard University. He has covered wars, disasters and major world events and has secured nominations in prestigious journalism awards such as the Walkley Awards and the Quills Australian Journalist of the Year Award, a rare achievement for a commercial television network news reporter. He was also a finalist for the Graham Kennedy Award for Most Outstanding New Talent. A versatile news reporter and presenter he has delivered ground-breaking news reports (people smuggling in Indonesia), fronted investigative documentary specials (Bikie Wars: Here and Now) and regularly co-presents on The Project. Named Young Journalist of the Year by the British Royal Television Society in 2008, Hamish also anchored Al Jazeera's International Emmy nominated coverage of the Georgia-Russia war live from Tbilisi. During his time with Al Jazeera, Hamish hosted the flagship Newshour program and stood in as host for Sir David Frost. Hamish has studied Arabic in Yemen and Indonesian in Jakarta. He has worked for the UK's Channel 4 News and for five years with the international broadcaster Al Jazeera English.