Nick Springate – We Didn’t Expect Tunisia

Nick Springate - BBC Senior Producer

Nick Springate  is a BBC Senior world affairs producer. He was field producer in charge the Corporation operation in Libya as he has been at many previous world news events.

“I had a call saying things are changing in Tunisia, the Journalist community would agree it’s a holiday place.”

Nick is discussing how Tunisia has changed recently, before moving on to Libya and Benghazi.

“I arrived in the front line, nobody was there. There was complete freedom to go where we wanted because they had never met journalists before. Nowadays there are press cards issued, and we are told where we can’t go – politely. The armies have very much controlled what happened in the Arab Spring now, in all areas.”

Writes Jon Dudley…

“When we went in, with the spark of the man setting this man on fire, we heard that generals had been told to kill anyone protesting in order to send a message. He said no, and this is where things changed. Nobody at all realised what would happen next, and we didn’t even get funding for Tunisia because there wasn’t a story. They didn’t even check equipment or anything on arrival as they’d never experienced this in Tunisia or Egypt.”

“We saw the people massing on the streets in Egypt, but again said no – The president will never go now. Again we were wrong, we weren’t prepared. Yemen we had predicted for a very long time, but no-one had thought of Bahrain or even Libya.”

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