For more than 15 years, Walkley Award–winning journalist Sophie McNeill has reported on some of the most war-ravaged and oppressive places on earth, including Syria, Gaza and Iraq. Her memoir, We Can’t Say We Didn’t Know tells the human stories behind the headlines – from Saudi women seeking asylum to imprisoned Uyghurs and Hong Kong protesters – and reflects more broadly on what happens when evidence and facts become debatable, and why disinformation and impunity now reign supreme. Australia Director at Human Rights Watch Elaine Pearson joins Sophie in conversation.
Sophie McNeill (Australian)
Currently an investigative reporter for Four Corners, Sophie McNeill was formerly the ABC’s foreign correspondent in the Middle East. She had worked across the region in countries such as Israel, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Egypt and Turkey, as well as the Palestinian territories. Sophie has twice been awarded Australian Young TV Journalist of the Year and in 2010 won a Walkley Award for her investigation into the killing of five children in Afghanistan by Australian Special Forces soldiers. She was also nominated for a Walkley in 2015 for her coverage of the Syrian refugee crisis. In 2016, she won two more Walkleys for her coverage of Yemen and besieged towns in Syria. Previously she worked as a reporter for ABC’s Foreign Correspondent and SBS’s Dateline programs and she is a former host of triple j’s news and current affairs program Hack. We Can’t Say We Didn’t Know is Sophie's first book.
Elaine Pearson (Australian)
Elaine Pearson is the Australia Director at Human Rights Watch. From 2007 to 2012 she was the deputy director of Human Rights Watch's Asia Division based in New York. Prior to joining Human Rights Watch, Elaine worked for the United Nations and various non-governmental organisations in Bangkok, Hong Kong, Kathmandu and London. She holds degrees in law and arts from Murdoch University and a master's degree in public policy from Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.