Mark Austin (journalist) bigraphy, stories - Journalists

Mark Austin (journalist) : biography

1 November 1958 -

Mark William Austin (born 1 November 1958) is a British journalist and television presenter, best known for being the chief newscaster for ITV News, where he regularly co-host the news bulletins with Julie Etchingham. He has also presented the ITV documentary series Real Crime.

Early career

Austin trained at Highbury College in Portsmouth and started his career in the media as a general reporter on the Bournemouth Daily Echo (1976–1980). He then joined the BBC as a newsroom writer, becoming a general news reporter in 1982. He was made a sports reporter in 1985. Austin joined ITN, who produce the news for ITV, in October 1986 as Sports Correspondent. He was given his first assignment on day one - to cover England's successful Ashes tour of Australia, as well as the America's Cup. He stayed in Australia for four months and during this time unexpectedly found himself reporting on the "Spycatcher" trial.

Other work

Austin is also an after dinner speaker,http://www.capelland.com/pages/corporate/index.asp?CID=124 and has appeared on light entertainment shows, including Ant & Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway, in a segment called "News at Ten, past Seven" in 2013.

Austin participated on behalf of charity in the celebrity version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? in 2005, he and Katie Derham won £32,000 for their chosen charities.

TV career

1990s

Austin has covered all the major sporting events for ITV News, including the Olympics, Wimbledon, the British Open, rugby internationals, football news and cricket. In 1993, he won top prize in the Sports News category at the Royal Television Society Awards for his coverage of the drug scandal affecting three British sportsmen at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona. In 1995, he was seconded to ITV to report from South Africa on the 1995 Rugby World Cup.

Austin was one of the first British journalists to report from the Gulf during the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in 1990. From the start of the war early in 1991, he was in Bahrain, the base for many of the Tornado squadrons, sending back regular reports including those on the recapture of the islands of Qaruh and Um-al-Maradin.

Austin was based in Hong Kong in 1993 as Asia Correspondent for ITV News. He returned there for his second tour as Asia Correspondent in 1996, spending over two years reporting, including the handover of the island to the Chinese in July 1997. He returned to London in mid-1998.

1994-1995 saw him in Johannesburg as Africa Correspondent for ITV News. Austin reported on the transition from apartheid to democracy in South Africa, Nelson Mandela's election victory, and on the civil war in Rwanda. During 1995, he also covered the Bosnian crisis, following the fall of Srebrenica. His reporting won him a joint Gold Medal, with fellow-correspondent Paul Davies, at the 1996 Film & Television Festival of New York.

In 1999, Austin covered the War in Kosovo. Based on the Albanian border for much of the conflict, Austin reported on the refugee crisis caused by the war. On the day in June NATO troops finally entered Kosovo he was airlifted in with the Gurkhas, the first troops to enter the country, reporting on their role as mine clearers, and witnessing an early confrontation with Serb police. Austin's reporting of the war was part of ITV News' coverage which received a Gold Nymph at the 1999 Monte Carlo Television Festival.

2000s

In 2000, his reporting of the Mozambique floods received an International Emmy award in the US, as well as a Gold Nymph at the 2000 Television Festival of Monte Carlo, and Gold and Silver Medals at the New York Television Programming Awards.

In September 2001, he covered the 9/11 attacks in New York and Washington before reporting on the War in Afghanistan. In 2001, he presented the first series of ITV reality series Survivor.

In 2002, Austin was promoted to ITV News' flagship news programme, the ITV Evening News He also reported on the invasion of Iraq in March 2003, where coalition troops invaded to remove Saddam Hussein from power. This saw Austin spend long periods of time in Iraq. In October 2006, Austin travelled to Beijing as part of a series of reports on China's economic growth. Austin had been to Beijing many times previously and covered the Tianmannen Square uprising in 1989. In January 2007, he travelled to Antarctica to cover a series of reports about climate change. In September 2007, he travelled to Zimbabwe to report on economic problems.

Austin became chief presenter of ITV News when Trevor McDonald retired on 15 December 2005. He took up the role of presenting the flagship ITV News programme on 3 January 2006. Austin earns a reported £300,000 per annum for reading ITV News. Austin also presents a new ITV prime-time crime programme alongside ex-news reader Sarah Heaney. Manhunt - Solving Britain's Crimes is a live 90 minute programme appealing to the public for information on the UK's most wanted criminals.

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Style

Austin has been praised for his style, which is matter-of-fact, whilst also showing compassion for victims.

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Living octopus

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