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Legendary journalist John Pilger dies aged 84

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The Australian-born writer and documentary filmmaker John Pilger has passed away after a long and successful career where he was often praised for his outspoken opinions.


Legendary Australian journalist and documentary filmmaker John Pilger has died, his family have announced.

He was 84.

“It is with great sadness the family of John Pilger announce he died yesterday 30 December 2023 in London aged 84,” in a statement released on behalf of his family on X. 

“His journalism and documentaries were celebrated around the world, but to his family he was simply the most amazing and loved Dad, Grandad and partner. Rest In Peace,” they added.

Based mainly in the UK since 1962, Pilger was well known as a strong critic of American, Australian, and British foreign policy.

He often spoke out against it, claiming the policies of these countries were often driven by an imperialist and colonialist agenda.

He was also outspoken on Australia’s treatment of Indigenous people and first attracted international attention for his reports on the Cambodian genocide in the 1970s.

He started his iconic documentary film career in 1970 with The Quiet Mutiny which he made during one of his visits to Vietnam and went on to make some 50 other documentaries.

Pilger was perhaps best known for 1979’s Year Zero which focused on the aftermath of the Pol Pot regime in Cambodia and 1993’s Death of a Nation: The Timor Conspiracy.

He also worked for British print media, including at liberal outlets the Daily Mirror and the New Statesman.

Pilger was much heralded by his adopted home of the UK, winning Britain’s Journalist of the Year Award in both 1967 and 1979.

He also won awards including BAFTAs for his documentaries and was much appreciated for his candid speech on what he saw as ‘deceitful’ practices of the mainstream media in the UK and beyond.

Pilger is survived by his partner, English journalist Yvonne Roberts as well as two children, including the writer Zoe Pilger.

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