ABC journalist Mark Colvin, host of PM, dead at 65

PUBLISHED Wed, May 10, 2017 - 9:50pm EDT
Credit: ABC

Award-winning journalist and broadcaster Mark Colvin, who hosted the current affairs program PM on ABC Radio for more than two decades, has died, his employer confirmed on Thursday. He was 65 years old. (more)

Colvin contracted Wegener's granulomatosis, a rare auto-immune disease that affects the bloodstream, while covering the Rwandan genocide in 1994. He fell gravely ill and spent months in hospital but ultimately sufficiently recovered, though his kidneys were permanently damaged.

After having both hips replaced, Colvin spent three years on dialysis and had a kidney transplant in 2013. ABC, in confirming the journalist's death, did not immediately confirm whether Colvin died as a result of the auto-immune disease.

Over the past two decades, Colvin was best known as the presenter for ABC Radio's PM show, though he was also well-known on social media.

"Radio is fresh, immediate and cheap to make, so there's a chance to go anywhere in the world for a breaking story," Colvin told ABC. "I love PM because it has the space to explore a wide range of the day's issues in more details and with more depth than the soundbite sausage-machine."

But prior to hosting PM, Colvin already had a long history at ABC.

After graduating from Oxford University with a B.A (Hons) in English, Colvin joined ABC radio news as a cadet. He went to work on the newly-founded 2JJ (the precursor to Triple J) and spent 3 years presenting the news before working a year as a TV News Producer and another year as a reporter on Nationwide.

In 1980, at the age of 28, Colvin was appointed London correspondent and he traveled around the world to cover major news stories, including the hostage crisis in Tehran, according to ABC's biography of Colvin. He eventually returned to Australia in 1983 and went on to become the founding presenter of The World Today on ABC Radio. In 1984, Colvin went to Brussels as ABC's Europe correspondent.

He had a number of other roles later on, including as a reporter for Four Corners between 1988 and 1992, during which he made films on the French massacre of Kanaks in New Caledonia, the extinction of Australia's fauna, and the Cambodian peace process. He won a Gold Medal at the New York Film Festival for his film on the Ethiopian famine.






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