About Andrew Purcell

headshotFor the last twelve years, I have lived and worked in New York, as a freelance correspondent for The Guardian, BBC radio, The Age, Sydney Morning Herald and Sunday Herald, among others. Previously, I was a staff reporter at BBC radio in London for five years. All the articles below can be found at this site.

Political reporting: Highlights include the 2008 Democratic Convention in Denver, Barack Obama’s election night in Chicago, reporting trips to Ohio and Florida before the 2012 election, the 2016 Republican Convention in Cleveland and recent dispatches from Trump country in Pennsylvania and Connecticut. Between presidential elections, I have covered the work of Congress and the Supreme Court, and have a deep understanding of the US political system.

Reporting: Black Lives Matter protests in Baltimore, last orders at the Chelsea Hotel, building a new World Trade Centre, and a high-profile police brutality case in Rio De Janeiro, one of several articles about the city reported without a translator in Portuguese. I spent two years investigating the case of an innocent man on Death Row in Texas and continue to correspond with him as his appeals run out.

Magazine features: I’ve written several deeply-researched articles about the US criminal justice system, covering overuse of solitary confinement, teenagers sentenced to life imprisonment and the death penalty in crisis. I’ve reported on complex, technically demanding subjects including the overprescription of antidepressants, off-label amphetamine use and DNA phenotyping. I’ve enjoyed writing about subjects that call for humour, such as parenting, a Brooklyn food co-op, and the world’s greatest record-breaker.

Arts writing: I have been privileged to meet many first-rate artists and write about their work. Lunch with Kurt Vonnegut, tea with Don DeLillo, a hug from Ornette Coleman and a raised eyebrow from Grandmaster Flash. Clint Eastwood enjoyed our conversation enough for the scheduled twenty minutes to become an hour. Others range from David Byrne to Bjork, Quentin Tarantino to Marina Abramovic.

Profiles: I once spent the afternoon getting to know Donald Trump and remain proud of the exclusive, although we talked golf and development, not politics. It was an honour to meet Buzz Aldrin and a pleasure to dine with Anthony Bourdain.

Although I have primarily worked as a newspaper reporter, I have a multi-media skill set and experience in visual and audio story-telling well-suited to this moment of media convergence. I have made three documentaries and numerous shorter packages for BBC World Service radio, taken photographs to be published alongside my copy, shot and edited professional videos and worked extensively as a cameraman for Brazilian television.

I have studied the new economic models being developed to pay for journalism and taken an active part in the online conversation about how media companies can manage the digital transition, regain trust and reach new audiences on social media. Whether as a reporter or editor, I would be an experienced addition to any team producing integrated multi-media content.

2000 – 2005 Broadcast Journalist, BBC Radio 1 and BBC 6 Music, London,
Live and packaged reports, bulletin shifts, documentary production, outside broadcasts, daily opinion column, online content creation, Pro Tools editing, studio production.

1999 – 2000 BBC Broadcast Journalist Trainee Scheme, Bristol,
From a field of fifteen thousand applicants, I won one of six places on the scheme, and trained alongside current BBC Political Editor, Laura Kuenssberg, who remains a close friend.

1998 – 1999 Scottish Centre for Journalism Studies, Glasgow.
Masters equivalent postgraduate diploma in journalism.

1994 – 1997 Jesus College, Cambridge University.
BA in history, first class, with honours.

Languages: Fluent Portuguese, conversational French.

Personal: I’m forty-one years old, a father of two, and have written and recorded an album of songs about being a parent. Last year I ran the New York Marathon and raised $3,000 for charity.