Watch: Ben Macintyre's moving tribute to Richard Beeston, 2013 Marie Colvin Award winner

In 30 years time reporters will be still be winning the awards because of the encouragement given to them by the late Richard Beeston.

This was the tribute given to the former Times foreign editor by his friend, Times columnist Ben Macintyre, at the British Journalism Awards on Monday night.

Beeston was the first winner of the Marie Colvin Award for the journalist who has done the most to raise the reputation of journalism and inspire others with their work.

He died of cancer aged 50 in March of this year and had been foreign editor of The Times since  2008. He continued to work until the final stages of his illness, reporting from Syria and elsewhere in between bouts of chemotherapy.

His father, the distinguished foreign correspondent Richard Beeston, and his son Jack were also at the Stationers’ Hall event.

 

Macintyre said: “He was a staff correspondent on The Times since 1986 and he embodied the best of newspaper journalism. He was passionate but balanced. Determined always to see for himself. Never foolhardy but spectacularly brave.

“He never made a fetish of war reporting. He took the job with intense seriousness but he never took himself too seriously. And he never made the mistake of believing that he was the main part of the story.

"A strong moral thread ran through everything he wrote. From exposing the horrors of Saddam Hussein’s chemical weapons attack on the village of Hallabja to the cruel war in Chechnya and the brutality of the Assad regime in Syria.

“Marie Colvin and Richard Beeston had more in common than just tragically early deaths. Both were utterly committed to the craft of foreign reporting and both were prepared to risk their lives for it.

“Beeston’s achievement lies not only in what he wrote himself and in what he edited but in the writing he inspired in others. Rick’s extraordinary pleasure and pride in this craft inspired an entire generation of foreign correspondents.

“Dozens of great reporters would not have taken up this job without his help encouragement and leadership. They will still be winning awards like this 30 years from now."

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