Freelance journalist & writer


BIOGRAPHY

"Iona Craig is a freelance journalist, writing with immense courage about one of the least reported and most dangerous conflicts of our age. She has been one of the very few journalists to brave the conflict in Yemen and draw its horrors to global attention” - Orwell Prize Judge, 2016

Iona Craig, journalist. Credit: Ahmed Basha

Iona Craig is a British-Irish freelance investigative journalist.


Since 2010 her work has focused on Yemen and the Arabian Peninsula. Iona lived in Sana'a from 2010 through 2014 as The Times (of London) Yemen correspondent, covering Yemen’s revolution, America’s growing covert war in the country and the civil war that began in 2014.


She regularly returns to Yemen and has repeatedly crossed the front lines to report on both sides of Yemen’s ongoing conflict and humanitarian crisis, crossing the Bab el Mandeb by boat between Djibouti and Yemen three times in 2015 to file reports for TV, radio and print from inside the two besieged cities of Aden and Taiz as well as the Houthi stronghold of Sa'ada. To date she has travelled over 9,000 miles across the country since the war began in 2014.

AWARD-WINNING REPORTING


Her work has won numerous awards including the 2016 Orwell Prize for journalism, the United Kingdom’s most prestigious honour for political writing, and the 2014 Martha Gellhorn Prize, Britain’s leading investigative journalism award. 


Her investigation for The Intercept of a Navy SEAL raid in a remote Yemeni village won the 2018 George Polk Award for foreign reporting. Iona has contributed to over 20 publications worldwide, shot footage for CNN and Channel 4 News as well as regularly provided analysis on broadcast channels around the globe.

She has also reported from Washington DC, Turkey, Lebanon, Djibouti, Jerusalem and the Occupied Territories.

RESEARCH & OTHER PROJECTS


Beyond her journalistic work Iona has carried out research in Sana'a on air dropped bombs for Action On Armed Violence (AOAV) and worked as a consultant for the International Crisis Group. 


Most recently, she spent a year working as a co-curator for the Imperial War Museums exhibition on Yemen’s humanitarian crisis that opened in Manchester in May 2019 and runs to the end of January 2020. Iona also fronts the Yemen Data Project, which collates data on airstrikes and political violence.


In 2018 she becamed a Center for Investigative Journalism Board Member.

Imperial War Museums
International Crisis Group
Centre for Investigative Journalism
Action on Armed Violence
Yemen Data Project
Crater, Aden, Yemen July 2015
Crater, Aden, Yemen July 2015
Change Square, Sana'a, Yemen 2011
Change Square, Sana'a, Yemen 2011
Abyan, Yemen 2012
Abyan, Yemen 2012
Al-Dashin, Taiz governoarte, Yemen 2017
Al-Dashin, Taiz governoarte, Yemen 2017
Ja'ar, Abyan, Yemen 2012
Ja'ar, Abyan, Yemen 2012
Ja'ar, Abyan, Yemen 2012
Ja'ar, Abyan, Yemen 2012
Dar Saad, Aden, Yemen 2015
Dar Saad, Aden, Yemen 2015
Ja'ar, Abyan, Yemen 2012
Ja'ar, Abyan, Yemen 2012
Lawder, Abyan Yemen 2012
Lawder, Abyan Yemen 2012
Aden, Yemen 2012
Aden, Yemen 2012
Lawder, Abyan, Yemen 2012
Lawder, Abyan, Yemen 2012
Taiz governoarte, Yemen 2017
Taiz governoarte, Yemen 2017

SPEAKING & WORKSHOPS


Iona has guest lectured at City University London, Arizona Sate University, Columbia University and Harvard, spoken at the European Parliament, the UK’s All Party Parliamentary Group on Yemen and the APPG on Drones, the British Yemeni Society, Chatham House as well as the European Council on Foreign Relations, amongst others. She has also carried out workshops and training for journalists in Yemen, the UK and for the Munk School of Global Affairs in Toronto.


She is currently writing a book on the legacy of American foreign policy in Yemen told through the personal stories of those impacted.


BACKSTORY


Before becoming a journalist in 2008, Iona rode and trained racehorses professionally for more than a decade in the UK, Australia and Ireland. She was Britain’s youngest racehorse trainer in the early 2000s.


Her first paid job in journalism was in 2008 with the BBC's flagship current affairs programme, Newsnight. After a two-week internship she followed the advice of the departing editor to keep turning up for two days a week. Several months later HR staff at the BBC became aware and back paid her.


Despite now working in one of the world’s most hostile environments she struggles to make a living out of her work. Iona depends on grants, prize money and donations to fund her reporting. If you’d like to support her journalism you can make a one-time pledge using the donate button on the home page or by becoming a Patreon.

IN THE PRESS


Nine years in Yemen - stories from a war reporter

Women with Balls, The Spectator

May 17, 2019


Iona Craig won a Polk Award for her investigation of a SEAL team raid that killed women and children in Yemen. Here's how she did It. 

The Intercept

February 24, 2018


How a freelance journalist told the real story behind the U.S. Yemen raid

Poynter

March 21, 2017


How Trump's Yemen raid went wrong

Vanity Fair

March 10, 2017


From racetrack to reporter: Yemen freelancer Iona Craig

Forbes

September 25, 2013


Former Cheltenham student reports from Yemen

Gloucestershire Echo

August 9, 2013


Contact Iona: iona@ionacraig.com

Copyright © 2019 Iona Craig

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