Fergal Keane: BBC Africa editor steps down after PTSD diagnosis


Fergal Keane

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Fergal Keane reports for news programmes such as The Andrew Marr show

The BBC’s Africa editor Fergal Keane is stepping down from his role due to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

His diagnosis was the result of “several decades of work in conflict zones around the world”, said the BBC’s head of newsgathering, Jonathan Munro.

He added that Keane had “been dealing privately with the effects of PTSD for several years”.

Keane, who was awarded an OBE for his journalism in 1996, will continue to report for BBC News but in a new role.

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Keane pictured at the Peabody Awards in 2016

Munro told staff that the reporter had been supported “by friends and colleagues in News, as well as receiving professional medical advice,” after his diagnosis.

“However, he now feels he needs to change his role in order to further assist his recovery.

“It’s both brave and welcome that he is ready to be open about PTSD,” he added.

Keane joined the BBC in 1989 as the corporation’s Northern Ireland correspondent, and later covered South Africa and Asia for the corporation before being appointed Africa editor.

He won an Amnesty television prize in 1994 for his investigation of the Rwandan genocide.

Another correspondent, the BBC’s Middle East editor Jeremy Bowen, has previously spoken about his own diagnosis of PTSD.

“I’ve suffered from depression and a lot of it has related to things that have cropped up in my working life… I had the symptoms of PTSD,” he told the Radio Times in 2017.

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