I started off as a formal news journalist in the UK with a background in Latin America. You start to understand why I ended up falling into travel writing since news pieces from Central and South America were not in high demand. I still file for the news agencies here from Colombia and still contribute travel pieces here and there to various outlets, but I am careful about the subjects which I report on.
When I moved to Colombia full time in 2007, my father, who had spent time in Colombia in the 1970s, made me promise that I would not focus on any political articles and, therefore, stay out of trouble. I believe his exact words were, “if you want to end up headless in a ditch.” So, during his lifetime I kept to travel and cultural pieces from here. I have to admit that now I am reporting far more on the Colombian conflict, the potential post conflict and indeed the political situation.
How do you decide what to write about?
If You have any questions, Feel free to ask by leaving a comment
12 CommentsLeave a comment
I loved your story and it made me laugh so much. Glad you listened to your dad. ?
Thank you Marco, I did listen to him for a long time but now almost exclusively work in news! I am careful though.
What an inspiring story. Love the fact that you live in bogota and have a hotel to run. I would stay in your place and it looks very nice. BTW, I see that you are still alive and you have listened to your dad. So tell me Richard, what were they saying for you to laugh like a madman? It would be fun to read about it.? . I know those contests are sometimes very entertaining.
Lee, thank you for your comment. If I remember rightly I was already laughing since the girls had to “freeze” on stage when the televised show would reach the commercial breaks. Then, the first advert was one for condoms. Then, the girls were asked about their role models and some of the responses were too much!
Bogota huh, is it still a dangerous place to be? What was toughest time you had in the beginning? And how did you manage to stay out of trouble? Kudos to you for being there. Cheers, Dan
Dan, it’s nowhere near as dangerous as it was in the 80s or 90s. In fact, each year Bogota gets better. There are trouble spots like in every city, but, don’t go looking for trouble and you should be allright. I got in trouble once with the military through no fault of my own, you can read about it here: http://www.richardmccoll.com/when-trip-to-santa-marta-becomes-a-journalists-ethical-nightmare/
thank you Eleni!
Nice article about you and love the fact that you live in Colombia and doing well. Live the fact that your dad is a wise man and you are also wise to follow his lead.what was your most interesting travel assignment and how many countries have you traveled so far?
Hi Christina, Colombia is great, my travelling is really limited to Latin America. Now, as a father myself I have decided to remain closer to home making shorter trips.
Pretty funny story, Richard! Keep writting!
thank you I will!