Al Jazeera journalist, moderator and Upworthy curator, bringing you the world with a British accent.
Hi, what’s your name?
Where do you hail from?
I was born in London after my parents moved to the U.K. from Lagos, Nigeria. I’m now based in Washington DC.
Who do you work for?
Full-time for Al Jazeera English and I also curate for Upworthy and write for PolicyMic when I have time.
Tell us a bit about you – how did you get to where you are today?
I always had a very clear idea of what I wanted to do as a broadcaster and journalist. I started early as a 14-year-old cub reporter for the UK’s first news talk station, LBC radio. I worked part-time for the BBC while studying English at Birmingham University and the day after I graduated I joined my local BBC radio station. Since then I’ve worked as a producer, reporter and presenter for all the UK BBC and commercial terrestrial television networks, BBC network radio, the World Service, Sky TV, CNN, NPR and now Al Jazeera.
What are your career highlights?
More than any one story I’ve covered, joining CNN and moving to Atlanta in 1999 and joining Al Jazeera in Washington in 2013 changed the course of my professional life. From a strictly storytelling point of view covering the 2005-6 Liberian election of Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, the first female African head of state was memorable. Lots of dramatic stories attached to that Liberian adventure, including a shocking encounter with child soldiers, a nation still in trauma from a vicious civil war and how hurricane Katrina almost stopped CNN from covering one of the biggest stories to come out of Africa that year. I’ll be sure to tell some of them at Storyology.
Who or what inspires you to get out of bed in the morning?
The three obnoxiously loud and annoying alarms I have set to ring on my phone for an hour, as I’m an extreme snoozer.
Which other storytellers do you admire?
Jon Snow and his Channel 4 News team, Al Jazeera’s “Fault Lines” documentary unit and Eddie Izzard.
What do you plan to share at Storyology?
My experience of how social media has created some unique storytelling opportunities and how to make the most of them. Plus some behind the scenes revelations about how the sausage gets made on international television.
Where can we find you?
“The Stream” is live on Al Jazeera English Mon – Fri. You can also stream “The Stream” live at stream.aljazeera.com and watch old episodes there too.
LinkedIn: Femi Oke
Femi Oke’s travel to Australia is supported by Al Jazeera