Longtime Reuters journalist Croft leaving after 36 years
Adrian Croft, a Reuters journalist for 36 years, including stints in the United States, Latin America and Europe, is leaving the news wire.
In a farewell message to his colleagues, Croft wrote:
I have decided to leave Reuters after 36 years and Friday is my last day.
It will be with some regret as I have had a great time since I first walked through the doors of 85 Fleet Street in London in September 1982 as part of that year’s group of trainees to be taught the rudiments of journalism by the legendary George Short. In the years since, I have had the privilege of having a ringside seat at some historic events and working with talented, helpful and friendly colleagues.
After a year in the U.S., I was posted to South Africa at the end of 1985 in the midst of the township uprising that would hasten the end of apartheid, regularly covering figures such as Winnie Mandela, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Cyril Ramaphosa, then leader of the miners’ union.
In 1989, I moved to Nicaragua, covering the 1990 election that brought the defeat of the Sandinistas and spending several weeks reporting from Panama after the Dec. 1989 U.S. invasion.
Then it was on to Colombia for two-and-a-half years, covering the war on the state declared by Pablo Escobar’s Medellin drug cartel. I took time out to go to the Middle East for six weeks immediately after the 1991 Gulf War, working in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and southern Iraq.
For five years in the 1990s, I had a marvellous posting to San Francisco, covering stories ranging from the Oklahoma City bombing to a supersonic world land speed record in the Nevada desert.
Back in Europe, I was EU trade correspondent for four years in Brussels before a posting to Madrid marked by the March 11, 2004 train bombings that killed 191 people.
In March and April 2003, I was “embedded” with the U.S. 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit during the invasion of Iraq.
For six years up until 2012, I covered UK politics and foreign policy in London bureau, going on trips to many points of the globe with prime ministers Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and David Cameron.
I returned to Brussels for three years from 2012, covering NATO and the EU, before a final stint on the desk in London.
My abiding memories include spending the best part of a week recovering a smashed company vehicle from a Contra guerrilla stronghold in northern Nicaragua in 1990 after it had been crashed by a Reuters colleague (I eventually recruited local people with machetes to hack a way out through the forest to get the car out, watched by Contras, before a truck driver agreed to tow it back to the main road); being given an aerial tour of Victoria Falls by our pilot after being detained by Zambian police for several hours while trying to cover the aftermath of a South African commando raid in 1987; and watching Paul Taylor play jazz on the piano of a hotel in Kuwait City soon after the end of the Iraqi occupation in 1991 (nearly everything portable had been looted from the hotel but the grand piano was too big to move).
I have enjoyed the team spirit and working with colleagues in one part of the world who you bump into again in another country years later and still have something in common with.
I have learned a lot from many colleagues over the years and have enjoyed working with you all, but will refrain from naming names for fear of missing someone out!