Oliver Poole (Former War Correspondent)

“When I got there they had kids with AK-47s welcoming you in”, students at University College Falmouth were told.

Oliver Poole, Former war correspondent, told BA (Hons) Journalism students what it is like to be reporting in Iraq and the dangers which the reporters face.

Oliver Poole

“You don’t want to get yourself killed”, Poole told the students when explaining how dangerous it is to be in that part of the world, especially when you’re from England “if you were a westerner in Iraq, you were a target.”.

Poole goes on to tell the students what was happening in Iraq whilst he was out there “they were kidnapping westerners, they were putting them in orange jumpsuits, in a cave in a basement, and making them do videos for their loved ones.” then graphically saying “making them plea for their life and then cutting off their head with a rusty bloody blade, and showing it on the internet as well.”

“When you’re in Iraq all the people are looking at you” he says when explaining how he felt when just walking through a street in Iraq.

He then gives advice on what to do and what not to do when reporting in these war raging countries “you’ve got to be careful and have the assumption that every one you are talking to could kill you” he warns the students “the last thing you want to do is draw attention to yourself.”

Poole then gives the students some rules to stick by “don’t go out at night, don’t go out walking around by yourself, don’t stay more than 15 minutes anywhere and don’t tell anyone where you are going.” he says “anyone that broke those rules got killed.” However he reassures the students “as long as you kept to those rules you’d be fine.”

Oliver Poole was the former war correspondent for the ‘Guardian’ and is currently the correspondent for ‘The Independent’.