Reporting the 1989 Revolution in Romania and the Czechoslovak Velvet Revolution

Allan Little recounts his journey from his student days in Edinburgh to working as a journalist the front lines of Cold War history in Eastern Europe and beyond.

In 1989 he found himself on the night shift at the BBC’s Today programme in London when the Berlin Wall fell. Witnessing the world change in real time Allan’s desire to be part of these monumental events grew stronger.

He shares is his experience as a journalist during the Velvet Revolution in Czechoslovakia. Allan describes the electrifying atmosphere of Wenceslas Square and the fear of a violent crackdown.

Allan also takes us to Romania during the fall of Nicolae Ceaușescu’s brutal regime. He recounts in detail the chaos, the gunfire, and the bloody reality of the revolution’s human cost .

The episode also delves into his time covering the 1991 Gulf War in Baghdad. He describes the eerie experience of watching the city being bombed from his hotel room and the resilience of the people around him.

As the episode draws to a close, Allan reflects on the lessons he’s learned from his career. He reminds us that while we may know what a society is transitioning from, we should be cautious in predicting what it is transitioning to. His insights are a powerful reminder of the complexities of history and the importance of journalism.


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