Journalist You Need To Know: Louise Callaghan

21.11.19

Describe her in a sentence

Louise Callaghan is a Middle East Correspondent for The Sunday Times based in Istanbul, uncovering the truth from the ground.

Who is she?

Louise Callaghan’s curiosity has pushed her to explore the ever-changing history of the Middle East, spending months on end in warzones to get a story. Louise has recently published a book titled ‘Father of Lions’, which explores the true story of Abu Laith, an Iraqi zookeeper who refused to abandon his animals in the face of an ISIS attack.

Can you pitch to her?

Yes, all of Louise’s contact details (along with 60,000 other journalists) are on her full profile with MediaHQ. If you’d like to get a demo just give us your details here, or email Gaye Gleeson on [email protected].

Why do I need to know her?

In April 2018, Louise covered the aftermath of the chlorine attack in Douma, Syria. Reports of the gas attack were released on April 7, and soon after, the Syrian regime began to push news that the attack was a hoax.

Louise made a point to speak to survivors and report the reality of the situation. After calling every contact she had in an attempt to cross the Turkish border, Louise succeeded and when she arrived in Syria, found an area of 3,000 tents filled with sick and injured people. Her drive to reveal the truth of this attack provoked governments from the US, UK and France to launch missiles to the areas in which it was believed chemical weapons were being produced. Louise was the only western journalist who crossed the border and reported on the story from the ground in Syria.

Louise dispels the idea that journalists who report from war zones are particularly brave.

‘The idea that a journalist who parachutes in for a couple of months should be seen as particularly brave or impressive is, I think, just the wrong way of looking at it […] it’s the people who this is actually happening to, who didn’t choose this, they’re not getting paid to do this, they’re the ones who are the real remarkable people in this situation.’

What’s her backstory?

As a young girl, Louise would open the Sunday Times to read the Foreign section, as it captured her interest from a young age. Being on the ground and uncovering undisclosed information kept by a government is key to her motivation as a Middle East Correspondent.

She believes that reporting from the midst of unrest exposes the narratives portrayed by PR from all sides to reveal the truth. Louise’s second motivation is a desire to show the real lives of people who live in the Middle East and survive political unrest and war day-to-day, providing a voice for these people. Her aim is to bring truth and understanding of the reality facing the people of the Middle-East to a western reader.

Let’s see her in action:

Louise Callaghan on what inspires her journalism:

Callaghan’s Syria Douma Attack Testimony for Sky News:

Callaghan writes about Abu Laith, an Iraqi zookeeper who refused to abandon his animals in the face of an ISIS attack. Read all about it here.

At MediaHQ, we have the contact details of every journalist, media outlet, producer and editor in Ireland and the UK. If you’d like a demo on how to use the platform, email Gaye Gleeson on [email protected] or request your demo here.