I'm a Scottish journalist who has worked for Al Jazeera English since December 2005. While based in London, I've travelled across Europe and beyond.
Born and raised in Motherwell, I wrote for my local newspaper, 'The Motherwell Times' while still attending the town's Dalziel High School. I studied journalism at what was then Napier College in Edinburgh. On completion of the course, I joined Moray Firth Radio in Inverness. After a year there, I moved to Northsound Radio in Aberdeen.
It was there that I came to the attention of Alistair Gracie who was Head of News at what was then Grampian Television (now STV North) and was offered the post of reporter/presenter on the main evening news programme North Tonight. I spent four years there before moving back to the central belt of Scotland as a reporter and presenter with Scottish Television.
During this time with the Glasgow based broadcaster, I reported from Saudi Arabia, the Gulf and Dubai ahead of the first Gulf War; and from Kuwait and Southern Iraq in its immediate aftermath. I also carried out an an investigation into a sinister extortion racket operating across Scotland, which led to questions being asked in the House of Commons. I was also part of the team on Radio Clyde's 'Superscoreboard' Sports programme.
When GMTV won the Breakfast franchise on ITV in the UK, I was appointed Ireland correspondent, setting up the bureau in Belfast. I spent three years there and reported on events such as the Shankill bomb and Greysteel Massacre as well as the first steps in the Northern Ireland peace process. I also began travelling to report on the wars in Balkans.
I transferred to London when I was appointed Senior News Correspondent before being promoted to Chief Correspondent. While at GMTV, I reported on some of the world's biggest news stories, from the Bali bomb and the invasion of Afghanistan to the London 7/7 attacks as well as the Death of Diana, Princess of Wales.
Moving to Al Jazeera English before its launch I have reported from across the globe including Afghanistan, Israel, Palestine, Lebanon, Niger, Pakistan and many countries across Europe.
I am a columnist with the highly regarded on-line current affairs magazine Scottish Review and a patron of the Young UK Programme which aims to stretch the minds and broaden the horizons of young people. I was a trustee and member of the board of the charity The Institute of Contemporary Scotland. I have also worked as a conference host and spoken at many international events on the role of the media and coverage of breaking news.
In November 2010, I earned a Master of Arts Degree (MA) in Mass Communications from the University of Leicester in the UK.
I have lectured remotely to journalism students in Australia, the US and the UK and recently written a chapter on the role of social media played in Al Jazeera's coverage of the 'Arab Spring'.
In October 2011, I took up my role as Senior Correspondent with Al Jazeera, based at our News Centre in Washington DC.