When you hear the words “terrorist attack,” you might think of the current war on terror, including ISIS and the Jihadist movement that have claimed the lives of many. These events may seem worlds away, but for one man similar attacks were just another day in the newsroom.
David Blevins, a reporter for Sky News, an Irish news organization, decided to shared his experience with faith and journalism. Blevins was in Northern Ireland during one of the nation’s darkest hours, but unlike those who watched the events unfold from the safety of their homes, Blevins was reporting from the front line of one of Ireland’s greatest conflicts in recent years.
According to Blevins, at this point, Ireland’s political situation was not as it is today. During the 1990’s, Northern Ireland faced difficult times. The residents of the area were split. Some favored England’s control over Northern Ireland and others saw England’s authority as a threat to their well-being.
According to Blevins, those against England’s command were primarily referred to as Republicans who thought that the only solution was violence. What followed was a period of bombings, the loss of life, and seemingly never-ending conflict. During the duration of this attempted revolution, over 3,600 people lost their lives.
Thankfully, the conflict was resolved and now the people who were once enemies are allies.
During the conflict, Blevins was just beginning as a young reporter for Sky News. Blevins recalls many things from the time period. He describes the day before 9/11, when a bomb went off that had him reporting for his first and longest shift at Sky News. The bomb was the first of many. He recalls reporting on more conflict and having another bomb go off nearby him. Despite the danger, he continued to report the news.
Blevins described himself as man driven by faith. He continues to believe and maintain an open mind despite sometimes religious limitations. Invited to speak at Point Loma Nazarene University on the 28th of September by the Literature and Journalism Department, he explained those limitations during a lecture at Colt Hall. This year marks his 27th year of reporting on news.
Blevins said, “[In Ireland] no one… uses the term ‘Christian journalist;’ it’s an oxymoron. Most regard journalism as something secular.. You see, they just don’t read enough C.S. Lewis.”
Despite Blevins’ recounting of the general view on Christianity and journalism in Ireland, Blevins argues that the two subjects need to coincide. Blevins said he actually accredits his talent in journalism to his Christian background.
As Eleonor Bartolome, a junior International Studies major at PLNU, described listening to Blevins as beneficial. She said, “I liked how there was some sort of hope in how religion and journalism can actually come together.”
Sarah Wise-Leach, a PLNU junior International Studies major added, “I’m very passionate about peace and conflict and resolution… and it was really wonderful to see an actual, real historical story of two people groups who… are able to come together and to resolve [the conflict].”