Veteran RTE journalist to pursue digital-media dream

6 Nov 2009

Lured by the rise of social media, RTÉ Prime Time presenter, Mark Little, has announced he is taking a year’s leave of absence from RTÉ in the new year to pursue a project combining digital media and global journalism.

“During 18 happy years with RTÉ as a correspondent and presenter, my first love has always been reporting on global affairs,” Little said today.

“The rise of social-media platforms like YouTube, Twitter and Facebook provides an opportunity for journalists to change the way we report the world,” Little explained.

“I would like to take a more direct role in that transformation. Unfortunately, that means taking a break from my work with Miriam and the Prime Time team who have been like a family to me.

“In particular, I would like to mention Miriam, who has been a great personal friend to me and someone who has taught me an amazing amount about broadcasting. Whilst I will be leaving in the new year, I look forward to maintaining a long-term relationship with RTÉ.”

Career start

Mark began his journalism career at the Sunday Business Post before being hired by RTÉ as a TV news reporter in 1991. He launched RTÉ’s first Washington office and as its first correspondent, covered three US presidential election campaigns during his tenure there from 1995 to 2001. He returned to Dublin to take up the post of RTÉ’s foreign affairs correspondent before joining Prime Time in 2002.

Mark specialises in coverage of world affairs and was named TV Journalist of the Year in 2001 for his reporting on the situation in Afghanistan just months prior to the 11 September, 2001, terrorist attacks.

He wrote and presented the documentary series Who’s Afraid of Islam? in 2006, for which he travelled to Muslim communities throughout the Middle East, Europe and America. Mark has also reported from several disaster and conflict areas, including Iraq, Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas.

Book writing

He is the author of three books, Turn Left at Greenland, Zulu Time and last year’s The New America – The Rise of the Obama Generation, which follows the American presidential election and the birth of a new era in US history.

Born in 1968 and educated at Trinity College, Dublin, and Dublin City University, Little is married with two children and lives in Dublin.

“We are delighted for Mark who is leaving us temporarily to embark on an exciting new project, but are obviously going to miss him and the enormous contribution he makes to Prime Time and the area of current affairs,” said Ken O’Shea, editor of RTÉ Current Affairs.

“He is an outstanding journalist with a natural talent for broadcasting,” O’Shea said.

By John Kennedy

Photo: Journalist Mark Little.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years