Renowned Journalist Hella Pick, Pioneer in Foreign Affairs Reporting, Dies at 96

Renowned Journalist Hella Pick, Pioneer in Foreign Affairs Reporting, Dies at 96


Renowned journalist Hella Pick, known for her groundbreaking work in foreign affairs reporting, has sadly passed away at the age of 96. Pick, whose career spanned over seven decades, was a trailblazer in the field of journalism, particularly in breaking into the male-dominated world of foreign affairs reporting in the 1950s.

Born in Vienna in 1927, Pick's early life was marked by the turmoil of the Nazi annexation of Austria in 1938. At just 11 years old, she was sent on a Kindertransport train to the UK, fleeing persecution and seeking refuge from the horrors of the Holocaust. Despite the challenges she faced as a young refugee, Pick's resilience and determination would shape her future career in journalism.

Pick's journey into journalism began in the late 1950s when she landed her first job at a London-based magazine, West Africa. It was here that she first began to make her mark in the field, paving the way for her illustrious career to come. In 1962, she joined the staff of The Guardian as a UN correspondent, a position that would launch her into the forefront of international reporting.

Throughout her career, Pick covered some of the most significant geopolitical events of the 20th century, from the Cold War to conflicts in the Middle East. Her insightful reporting and dedication to uncovering the truth earned her the admiration and respect of colleagues and readers alike. Despite the challenges she faced as a woman in a male-dominated industry, Pick never wavered in her pursuit of excellence.

One of Pick's most notable attributes was her unrivaled network of contacts and her immense knowledge of world affairs. Her ability to cultivate sources and navigate complex diplomatic circles allowed her to provide readers with unparalleled insights into global events. Whether reporting from the frontlines of conflict or analyzing the intricacies of international diplomacy, Pick's reporting was always characterized by its depth and nuance.

In addition to her contributions to journalism, Pick was also known for her generosity and mentorship towards younger colleagues. She inspired and intimidated in equal measure, pushing those around her to strive for excellence while offering guidance and support along the way. Her legacy as a mentor and role model will continue to inspire future generations of journalists for years to come.

As the editor-in-chief of The Guardian, Katharine Viner, aptly put it, "Hella was an incredible force and an inspiration. She had unrivaled contacts and immense knowledge about world affairs and was always steely in her determination to find out the facts." Pick's dedication to her craft and her unwavering commitment to the truth serve as a reminder of the importance of rigorous and principled journalism in today's world.

Despite the many changes that have occurred in the field of journalism over the years, Pick remained steadfast in her belief in the fundamental principles of the profession. As she once remarked, "In terms of how you actually pursue your craft, the world of today bears very little relationship to the one I started out in. But you still need people to trust you, you need to have an inquisitive mind and good antennae for priorities."

In her later years, Pick continued to be actively engaged with the world around her, offering her insights and perspectives on the pressing issues of the day. Even as her health declined, she remained committed to her work, a testament to her dedication and grit.

Hella Pick's passing marks the end of an era in journalism, but her legacy will continue to inspire and influence generations of journalists to come. Her contributions to the field are immeasurable, and her impact on the world of journalism will be felt for years to come. As we mourn her loss, we also celebrate her remarkable life and the indelible mark she left on the world of journalism.


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