Today marks 77th birth anniversary of noted journalist, television producer and presenter Simon Dring.
Simon Dring was considered a true friend of Bangladesh and had a deep connection with the country, starting in 1971 when he covered the gruesome massacre carried out by the Pakistan Army in Dhaka on the night of March 25, during Operation Searchlight.
The Bangladesh government expressed gratitude to him by recognizing his role in spreading the word on the Liberation War out in the world. He was conferred the "Friends of Liberation War Honour" in 2012.
Dring left behind his partner Fiona McPherson, and three daughters.
As a reporter, he covered major stories around the world. He reported for the BBC from many conflict zones between 1960-80s.
Simon Dring started as a feature writer at the Bangkok World newspaper when he was only 18. He went on to report the Vietnam War, reporting for Reuters and other news organizations.
His subsequent career for The Telegraph and the BBC was marked by quality reporting from Biafra, Bangladesh, Eritrea, and many other conflict zones. He was on the plane carrying Khomeini back from Paris to Iran in 1979.
Simon Dring was injured several times and imprisoned in Uganda by Amin, where he was threatened with execution.
Simon Dring got his first media job in early 1963, at the age of 18, working as a proofreader and feature writer for the Bangkok World newspaper in Thailand.
In 1964, at the age of 19, he became a freelance reporter for the London Daily Mail and The New York Times in Laos, before moving to Vietnam at the end of the year, where he covered the war for two years for Reuters as their youngest staff correspondent at the time.
His journalistic career continued through the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s as a staff correspondent for Reuters, The Daily Telegraph, and BBC TV News and a freelance reporter and producer for, among others, The Sunday Times, Newsweek, and BBC Radio News.
During this time, Simon Dring covered major stories and events throughout Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Asia, and Latin America, including Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Iran, Nigeria, Angola, Uganda, Eritrea, Cyprus, Israel, Brazil, Croatia, Bosnia, and Georgia.
His brilliant career as a journalist is filled with numerous prestigious awards and honors. He became the UK Reporter of the Year for his eyewitness accounts in The Daily Telegraph of the massacres in Dhaka during the Liberation War.
Role in Bangladesh media
In 1997, Simon Dring joined with partners in Bangladesh to develop, license, and build Ekushey Television, the first private, commercial terrestrial/satellite TV channel in Bangladesh, as joint managing director of ETV. He was deported in 2002 after the then BNP-led government cancelled ETV's broadcasting licence and ordered Dring to leave.
In the past few years, Dring started working in television and journalism in Bangladesh again, for several different satellite networks, including chief broadcast adviser for the design, development, launch, and launch management of Jamuna Television.