About Bill Blakemore

ByABC News
January 18, 2007, 10:33 AM

— -- Bill Blakemore has spearheaded ABC's coverage of global warming, traveling from the tropics to polar regions to report on the impacts and dangers of climate change, as well as possible solutions for it.

Blakemore helped create ABC's new multiplatform exploration of global warming in TV, Internet, podcast, radio and print formats. He began focusing on global warming even as he was finishing his 27-year coverage of the entire papacy of Pope John Paul II. Blakemore was part of the ABC News team that won the duPont-Columbia Award for its live coverage in Rome of John Paul's funeral and his successor's election.

Blakemore has been a reporter for ABC News for more than 35 years, covering a wide variety of stories.

On Sept. 11, 2001, Blakemore reported live from ground zero before the trade towers fell, and in following months from Afghanistan on the Taliban's demise; from Pakistan's Frontier Province on fundamentalist electoral victories; and from Karachi after journalist Daniel Pearl's murder.

In 2003 during the start of the Iraq war, Blakemore reached Baghdad just after Saddam Hussein's statue fell, reported on the subsequent confusion there, and got the first on-camera interview with a chief Iraqi biological weapons scientist. In 2004, he reported from the Pakistan-Afghanistan border on the frustrated hunt for al-Qaeda leaders.

Blakemore has covered 12 wars since he joined ABC News. They include the 1991 Gulf War, which he covered in Baghdad, two Arab-Israeli wars, and the Palestinian intifada, the Iranian Revolution, the Black September War in Jordan, the Beirut civil war, the Turkish invasion of Cyprus, and the Indo-Pak Bangladesh war.

Based in New York since 1984, Blakemore has continued to travel widely as a domestic and foreign correspondent covering stories of conflict and politics, the arts, nature and science -- and now global warming and other narratives involving the love-hate relationship between nature and man.

Blakemore was ABC's Vatican correspondent throughout John Paul II's reign. He was ABC's Rome bureau chief for six years, reporting live with Peter Jennings from St. Peter's Square on the day of Pope John Paul's election in 1978.

He traveled on John Paul's plane on most of the pope's 100-plus trips abroad, is author of the Encyclopedia Britannica's major article on John Paul, and has written and reported five documentary specials on him. In addition to those for ABC News, Blakemore wrote and reported the biography, "John Paul, Statesman of Faith," for the Arts and Entertainment network, and, in 2004, an hourlong assessment of John Paul's first 25 years for the New York Times -- Discovery channel.

Overseas, Blakemore has covered six major political assassinations and eight hostage sieges, seven earthquakes, more than a dozen commercial plane crashes, two volcanoes, the long-range effects of the Exxon-Valdez oil spill in Alaska, as well as Queen Elizabeth's Silver Jubilee, the Marriage of Prince Charles and Lady Diana, and, following the latest Iraq war, the complicated administration of the ruins of ancient Babylon. He once spent a year reporting for ABC Radio while traveling around India by motor scooter. During the U.S. hostage crisis in Iran, he was first to report on the hidden practice of "3rd Party Conflict Resolution."

Blakemore has reported many intercultural stories in the arts, including Yo-Yo Ma's crossover music and ongoing Silk Road Project. He reported on a full solar eclipse from the medieval Persian city of Isfahan, on Halley's Comet from Eastern Australia, and from Western Australia on the America's Cup and on the human-regimenting dolphins of Shark's Bay. He was also chief science correspondent for the ABC-Discovery Channel weekly science show -- for which he anchored the live landing of the Mars rover. Blakemore continues to cover a variety of science stories when his schedule permits, focusing especially on the nature of intelligence and brain function, and on nature conservation and the extinctions crisis.

Blakemore also served for six years as ABC's first education correspondent, a beat for which he wrote and reported an influential "American Agenda" special entitled "Common Miracles: The New American Revolution in Learning."

Blakemore coined the word "spotcraft" to describe what he did for a living, and writes and lectures on the nature of professional journalism and how it differs from propaganda. After filing from the Iraqi capital during the 1991 Gulf War, he published a Law Review article entitled "Reporting From Baghdad During The Gulf War: Principles for Judgment."

Blakemore was the first television correspondent to win the Edward R. Murrow Fellowship at the Council on Foreign Relations, where he designed and ran a major study series on "TV News and American Foreign Policy."

He is also one of 40 semifinalists chosen by his peers from 1,300 applicants to be NASA's first journalist in space -- a suspended program he still hopes to see revived. He has won many of the most prestigious journalism awards, some a number of times, including the duPont-Columbia, the Society of Professional Journalists, the Overseas Press Club, the Emmy, the Christopher, and the Headliner for a wide range of stories including the politics of John Paul, Israeli-Palestinian conflicts, the science of addictive drugs (anchoring ABC's special, "Alcohol and Cocaine: The secret of Addiction"), the persistent problems of earthquake rescue, the global extinction of montane amphibians, and the unseen obliteration of ocean life. For ABC's Peabody Award-winning 24-hour Millennium 2000 special, Blakemore reported live from Bethlehem.

His experience in print journalism ranges from serving for three years as Beirut correspondent for the Christian Science Monitor in the mid-1970s, to articles in The Washington Post and other papers on the art of filmmaker Stanley Kubrick, to writing for the ABCNEWS.com Web site today.

A former literature teacher at the American University of Beirut and the American Community School of Beirut, Blakemore is a graduate of Wesleyan University in Connecticut and a native of Chicago. He has served on the faculty and committees of the St. Louis-based American Youth Foundation. In 1986 he was elected a trustee of Wesleyan University.

In addition to his regular coverage of global warming, his current interests, as seen in his "Nightline" report on new discoveries about the mental health of refugees around the world, include the "psychological literacy" of today's journalism.