My Mentor: Shiulie Ghosh on Terry Lloyd

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The Independent Online

It was 1988, and it was a story that shocked the world. A TV reporter had got into the Iraqi city of Halabja, where Saddam Hussein had carried out a poison-gas attack on the Kurds. The images were unforgettable: streets strewn with bodies. The correspondent who had obtained this footage was Terry Lloyd, the longest-serving reporter at ITN.

Ten years later, I arrived at ITN, fresh from regional telly and nervous as hell. The newsroom was full of household names that I admired – Colin Baker, Michael Nicholson, Trevor McDonald... and Terry.

Like me, Terry had cut his teeth in journalism in the East Midlands, and he took me under his wing. He was a reporter who had done and seen everything, yet he was never arrogant. He showed me how a professional operates, and he never rested on his laurels. "You're only as good as your last story, Shools," he would say.

As a reporter, he preferred honesty to spin, and he was a gifted storyteller, always looking for the human angle. He knew that the most powerful reports were those that spoke to your heart and stuck in your head.

Terry inspired me to new heights – literally. I was the only TV reporter to film aboard a US aircraft refuelling warplanes during the Kosovo conflict. Of course, Terry went one better: he walked from Montenegro, across the mountains, to become the first Western journalist to get into Kosovo while it was still in Serb hands.

When the Iraq War started, Terry chose not to be embedded with the military, as so many other journalists did. Typically, he chose independence. It was March 2003, and I was at home when I got a call telling me Terry was missing, presumed dead.

Terry's death had a huge impact on us all. And it's so sad that the next generation of reporters won't benefit from his down-to-earth wisdom.

Shiulie Ghosh is a news anchor and presenter of Everywoman on Al Jazeera English. Terry Lloyd reported for ITN for 20 years until he was killed by crossfire in Iraq in 2003

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