Journalist, editor and human rights advocate, Derek Ingram, died on 17 June at the age of 92. Colleagues and members of the Round Table Editorial Board share their thoughts on his legacy.
[This page will be updated with articles about Derek Ingram].
Richard Bourne was a close friend and wrote the forewords for some of Derek’s books. He writes:
The death of Derek Ingram, three days short of his 93rd birthday, removes a towering figure in journalism. He travelled widely in the Commonwealth, and attended 20 Commonwealth summits, always reporting with knowledge and conviction. He founded the Gemini news feature service in 1967, which gave opportunities and world-wide exposure to many journalists round the world, such as Cameron Duodu in Ghana, the young Trevor McDonald in Trinidad, and Lindsey Hilsum, now international editor for Channel Four News, in the United Kingdom. Although London-based, it took the anti-apartheid line in the struggle between Mrs Thatcher and the majority of Commonwealth governments.
He was a sterling supporter of media freedom, and human rights. In 1978, at a conference in Dalhousie, Canada, he and a group of Commonwealth journalists including the Canadian broadcaster, Patrick Keatley, set up the Commonwealth Journalists Association which went on to provide training around the world. In 1987, he was a key player in the establishment of the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative, now with offices in Delhi, Accra and London. A decade later, in his 70s, he toured the world for the Commonwealth Secretariat, reporting on how the Commonwealth could enhance its image.
He will be remembered for his friendliness, his support for younger journalists, and the hospitable way in which he threw open his mews house in Marylebone for guests and journalists passing through London. He symbolised the best in Commonwealth journalism. He died peacefully. A tall tree has fallen in the forest.
President Emeritus of the Commonwealth Journalists Association and President of CJA UK, Rita Payne, writes:
Derek was the glue that held the CJA together. It was because of him that many of us joined the association. He was a pioneering journalist who inspired British mainstream media to report with understanding developments in other Commonwealth countries and fought robustly for media freedom across member states. We will miss his wise counsel, experience and depth of knowledge about the Commonwealth. It is up to us now to ensure that his legacy lives on.
Chair of the Round Table’s Editorial Board from 2011-2017, Stuart Mole, writes:
Derek was a giant among us and his imprint can still be found across the Commonwealth – in its libraries, its policies, on its journalists, civil servants and politicians – as well as in a multiplicity of Commonwealth organisations. His unwavering commitment and clear attachment to principle, his vision of what needed to be done, his tenacity and energy were all truly astonishing. And there was also his camaraderie, his friendship and support which many of us will remember with huge gratitude.
Kayode Soyinka Derek Ingram: A tribute – The Nation
Derek Ingram Obituary by Richard Bourne – The Guardian