Burhan Wazir joins WikiTribune
Another accomplished journalist in the mix
We have another new face at WikiTribune HQ: former Al Jazeera reporter Burhan Wazir. Here’s a quick Q&A.
Hi Burhan. Could you introduce yourself for us?
I’m Burhan Wazir, and I’ve previously worked at Al Jazeera, The Times and The Observer.
I will primarily be helping [WikiTribune Editor] Peter with story editing and preparing for launch.
I was born in Glasgow, and moved to London after graduating. In 2008, I went to live in the United Arab Emirates and Qatar for nearly eight years, which gave me a valuable insight into the region at an important time. I specialise in writing about the Middle East, Asia and immigration to the UK. I am a regular contributor to the Financial Times, the New Statesman, Prospect and The World Today.
How did you come to join WikiTribune?
Peter very kindly asked me to join him in this great new adventure after convincing me of its importance over a coffee.
How have you found working here so far?
I have been delighted by the enthusiasm and professionalism of the team. The conversations have been wide ranging with great ideas. I think the team’s collaborative approach is particularly exciting.
What were you doing before?
Prior to joining WikiTribune, I was the head of opinion at Al Jazeera in Qatar. The opinion team commissioned and edited five pieces a day, across a range of subjects, including terrorism and international news, from authors, analysts and academics. I have also worked at The Times (deputy features editor) and The Observer (news reporter and features writer).
In 1999, I was received a Press Gazette “Young Journalist of the Year” award for work published in The Observer. .
What’s been your proudest achievement in life?
Researching and writing “How journalism should cover terrorism” for the Tow Center in 2016. The crucial lesson for me was learning how, in the wake of an act of terror, the intersection between politicians and the media can have unintended consequences for decades.
Covering the conflict in Iraq in 2003 gave me a unique view of the Middle East. Obtaining letters from prisoners inside Guantanamo Bay reiterated the importance of the legal freedoms we often take for granted.