Tim Judah

BFJE 2009 – Identities


When revolutions across Eastern Europe cast off communism at the end of 1989 Tim Judah found himself endlessly dialing numbers in Romania and cutting tape at the World Service.


This, he thought, was not what he had wanted to become a journalist for.

At the beginning of 1990, with burgeoning family in tow, he set up shop at the top of a Ceausescu-era block of flats on the outskirts of the Romanian capital Bucharest.

He was working for the Economist and The Times. In 1991, as post-revolutionary Romania faded from the news, rumblings of war could be heard from neighbouring Yugoslavia.

Tim and family moved to Belgrade, which was a base for covering the Croatian and Bosnian wars.

In 1995 he returned home to London but he continues to travel to the Balkans very frequently as he covers the area for the Economist, and sometimes for others.

He is the author of three books on the region: Kosovo - What Everyone Needs to Know, The Serbs: History, Myth and the Destruction of Yugoslavia and Kosovo: War and Revenge.

Despite following the Balkans, Tim frequently “breaks out” to do other things. Following 9/11 he covered the fall of the Taleban in Afghanistan for The Economist, then the fall of Saddam Hussein from Baghdad.

In recent years he has also reported from Iceland, Sudan, North Korea, Iran and several other places. In 2008 he published a book on the first black African to win a gold medal at the Olympics - Bikila: Ethiopia’s Barefoot Olympian.