Autobiography tackles ‘endemic’ world issues

John Osman signing books at the launch
John Osman signing books at the launch

FAMILY and friends travelled across the country to see Steyning man John Osman launch is autobiography on Thursday.

The 85-year-old former journalist and top foreign correspondent wrote Life, Love, Laughter, Liberty after seeing a BBC report prematurely lamenting his death in 2012. This inspired him to write his ‘reflections on a long and full existence’.

Really it is a serious effort to examine many of the endemic problems with which we are faced today based upon my own experience as a journalist covering those problems

John Osman, former journalist

Speaking at Steyning Cricket Club at the launch, Mr Osman said: “I love my home county, as anyone who reads the book will find out in the very first chapter. But essentially, the work is not just about my life, despite the book’s presentation as an autobiography.

“Really it is a serious effort to examine many of the endemic problems with which we are faced today based upon my own experience as a journalist covering those problems.

“I think it has become ghastly, serial stories that will remain unfinished, from slavery and the oppression of women to international terrorism and continuing areas of vicious territorial conflict.

“The book is also levered with funny but quite real stories about how news is gathered and how it ought not to be gathered. Such tales, I hope, will make you laugh, even if you may be shocked.”

Born in Durrington, Mr Osman started his career as a junior reporter on the Evening Argus and then became the sports editor on the Worthing Herald, before leaving to work in Bristol in 1951.

He went on to work for the Press Association, Daily Telegraph and BBC and covered stories like the death of Leonid Brezhnev, the Dalai Lama fleeing to India from Tibet in 1959, and slavery in Saudi Arabia.