20 years is a long time in Australian television. For a current affairs show to see out 20 years is an amazing feat in any language and for Foreign Correspondent it’s made even sweeter by the calibre of producers, reporters and hosts the show has seen in it’s run. This special 20th anniversary episode will provide it’s own interest in the return of some of those past alumni to record follow up stories that will challenge and educate. From the press release:

Foreign Correspondent has covered extraordinary and dramatic global change since it launched back in 1992 and yet, as the program’s 20th anniversary program shows, while many parts of the world have moved at warp speed, others remain mired in the past.

To explore the way our world has spun during these years, Foreign Correspondent alumni Tony Jones and Jennifer Byrne have returned to the program for special assignments.

Jennifer heads to New York, the scene of her seminal reporting in 1999 and 2001 on the wild promise of the internet. In less than two years the spectacular dot.com boom was dot.gone – but not for long.

Jennifer goes in search of the wide-eyed prophets of web commerce who soared and crashed. What happened to the guys behind theglobe.com who were promoting social media years before Facebook and Twitter?

In 1992 Tony Jones was the ABC’s European correspondent and the story dominating his working life was unfolding in Yugoslavia. Chilling terms like “ethnic cleansing” entered the lexicon as centuries-old rivalries and hatreds brought bloodshed, waves and refugees and comparisons to the Holocaust.

Tony witnessed some appalling scenes during his assignments for Foreign Correspondent in the 1990s but re-visiting Bosnia earlier this year he sought out some of the people whose lives had been scarred by the war but who epitomised the stoicism of the human spirit.

Tony and Jennifer’s journeys weave between the recollections of other program stalwarts like Jonathan Holmes, Mark Corcoran, Eric Campbell, Dominique Schwartz, Peter George, Trevor Bormann and Jane Hutcheon.

Foreign Correspondent’s first host George Negus also returns to reflect on his experiences with the award-winning program which he believes continues to exemplify the best in international journalism.

That Was Then, This is Now celebrates the finest international reporting the country has seen, but also holds a mirror up to a world which in many ways is utterly different to 1992, but in others is just the same.


Foreign Correspondent has been Australia’s leading international current affairs program since 1992.

In 20 years reporters, producers, camera operators and sound recordists have travelled to more than 170 countries and produced more than 1,600 reports.

The program draws on the ABC’s extensive network of international correspondents and a Sydney-based reporting and production team.

Foreign Correspondent is designed to exploit the strengths of television – striking images and multi-track audio, a strong focus on storytelling, exotic locations and emotional appeal.

Foreign Correspondent reports on major international issues but it also travels to places where reporters and camera operators are less welcome – investigating stories that governments don’t want told.

Foreign Correspondent stories have won many international and Australian awards for journalistic excellence, camerawork and editing.

Foreign Correspondent stories are broadcast on the Asia Pacific Focus program on ABC’s satellite service, Australia Network.

Foreign Correspondent stories are also regularly re-broadcast by more than 20 international networks, including CNN International, Al Jazeera, NHK Japan and TV NZ.

Website – http://www.abc.net.au/foreign
Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/ABCForeignCorrespondent
Twitter – http://twitter.com/ForeignOfficial

Foreign Correspondent 20th anniversary special – Tue 8:30pm, ABC1.