ROYAL Wootton Bassett Academy will welcome an icon of journalism at a special event later this month.

Legendary war reporter Martin Bell, who became a household name for his coverage of conflict from the Middle East to Northern Ireland before later becoming an MP, will visit the school on November 27.

Bell is perhaps most famous for his reporting from Bosnia where, in 1992, he was wounded by shrapnel during the siege of Sarajevo.

His new book, War and the Death of News: Reflections of a Grade B Reporter, was released in June and will be the subject of his talk on the evening.

In it, Bell provides a moving, personal account of war and issues an impassioned call to put the substance back in our news.

It is a subject on which he can write with great experience and insight. From Vietnam to Bosnia to Iraq, he has witnessed first-hand the dramatic changes in how conflicts are fought and how they are reported.

He explores the idea that the truth has been degraded in the name of balance and good taste, with grief and pain censored to avoid disturbing viewers.

Terry Waite, the humanitarian and author who was held prisoner in Beirut from 1987 to 1991 said of the book: “No one is better qualified than Martin Bell to write honestly about the decline of news reporting.

“Written with passion and clarity this book is an essential read for all who value truth and integrity in journalism.”

For the staff and students at Royal Wootton Bassett Academy, the evening will be an opportunity to welcome back an old friend and a supporter of the school’s pioneering Holocaust, Genocide and Human Rights programme.

Nicola Wetherall, who heads up the school’s work in that area, said: “We are looking forward to welcoming Martin back to RWBA.

“The evening will be an opportunity for him to speak to an audience of students, staff, parents, governors and also the wider community about his latest memoir.

“He will relate stories of his various experiences whilst reflecting on what he has seen and learned - especially in the current climate of fake news, denial, post truth and social media.

“He will talk about his concerns for our ability to critically reflect and to seek out reliable 'news'.

“After his presentation, the evening will open up to audience questions and a fascinating debate and dialogue should follow.

“It will be an evening to inform, engage, inspire and empower.”

The event will get underway at 7pm in the RWBA Sixth Form Lecture Theatre but a slightly earlier arrival is recommended.

Interest is expected to be high for such an exciting guest so booking is required by emailing Rhiannon Hayden on