Hi, I’m Jon Snow, lead anchor of the UK’s Channel 4 News since 1989.

I have reported the fall of Idi Amin in Uganda; the Revolution in Iran; the Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan; the fall of the Berlin Wall; the release of Nelson Mandela; the earthquakes in Kashmir and Haiti; the 9/11 terror attacks; and the elections of Thatcher, Blair, Obama, and Hassan Rouhani's victory in 2013. More recently I’ve reported from the Gaza conflict, from Bangladesh on climate change and from the scene of the Paris attacks.

The story of the year has, of course, been the migration crisis — please do try our amazing interactive video story Two Billion Miles, and step into the shoes of a refugee or migrant making an extraordinary journey. There are eight endings and 21 countries to travel through.

In February I had two huge balloons of powerful 'skunk' cannabis as part of a medical trial, and I've quizzed David Cameron on Saudi arms deals, Mark Regev on IDF attacks, John Kerry on the refugee crisis and Russell Brand on addiction.

So, now it's your turn to ask me anything! I'll be answering questions from 3.30pm GMT / 10.30am EST. Felix and Harry from our online desk will be helping me reddit today.


Proof: https://twitter.com/Channel4News/status/674969357710176256

Edit 5:00 PM GMT: Thanks for all your wonderful questions! I must leave it there and get back to work on tonight's programme — see you at 7pm, on 4. Find me on Twitter!

Comments: 4241 • Responses: 50  • Date: 

JesterofMadness4955 karma

Will you be returning for season 6?

jonsnowc44358 karma

My contract forbids me from discussing any of my appearances, but I am still basking in the glow of a red wedding and I love going north!

And I am certain... that winter is coming.

Damadar3791 karma

How many times have people made stupid jokes about you "knowing nothing" in the past 6 years or so?

jonsnowc44128 karma

My estimate would be in excess of 100,000 times. And the funny thing is, lots of people still think they're the first person to do it.


Jonospader2906 karma

What was your most dangerous assignment?

jonsnowc43570 karma

Covering the Iran/Iraq war in 1980 without flak jacket and with no security. It was like the First World War.

pepe_le_shoe1162 karma

Was that just the way things were done back then, or was there a particular reason you went in without any protection?

jonsnowc42658 karma

That was the way things were done, and there hadn't been a war like it since the First World War with gas, crude heavy artillery, trenches and waves of fifteen-year-olds being slaughtered in their thousands in front of you.

xadriancalim1651 karma

What event have you reported that surprised you as it saw the biggest social change despite it possibly being not the biggest story at the time?

jonsnowc42405 karma

Although I knew it was massive, 9/11 created a far bigger social and political impact than I imagined at the time.

It cast negative shadows over many Muslim communities and we are all still struggling to reverse that.

69ingChipmunkzz681 karma

How much of what happened in 2001 do you see resonating today in the wake of Paris?

jonsnowc41622 karma

I think 9/11 and the consequent wars have all infected the world we live in to a far greater extent than we even begin to understand.

MrPielil1098 karma

What is the CRAZIEST story you think you've ever covered?

jonsnowc42551 karma

I went to Antarctica to see what damage the Falkland War was doing to the place. Answer: None. But there were some fabulous penguins!

benbecula1062 karma

I think you're brilliant!

Are there any news stories that you've found emotionally difficult to cover? How do you deal with stories that contain huge human suffering?

jonsnowc41459 karma

I found the atrocity in Paris very difficult. I interviewed a woman doctor who had tended some of the maimed and dying. She managed to contain her own emotions, but I found tears rolling down my face.

owlyross929 karma

You have been criticised by many for bringing your political opinions into your reporting too much (mainly people confusing your Twitter opinions with your actual job in reporting). I for one think that you do remain balanced.

Do you find it difficult to keep your own personal opinions out of your reporting? and Has your political stance changed over the years as a result of the things you have seen and experienced?

jonsnowc42152 karma

There is no such thing as a neutral human being. I am a man, you may be a woman... what is neutral between us in that regard?

Who you are, your life experience inform what you are, and I try to be balanced, but I can't pretend I am always neutral. I try to be objective, but I accept that sometimes when powerful emotions are in play, this can be very, very hard.

I don't think my political stance has changed since I became a reporter; it was profoundly changed by working as a volunteer teacher on the banks of the river Nile in remotest Uganda.

Gustyarse668 karma

Would it be fair to say there has been a general decline in the quality and morality and of the british media over the last forty years? If you agree or disagree, why?

jonsnowc41319 karma

Well, I think Channel 4 News is holding its own, and I think we do a far better programme than when I began. It's an amazing team, it belongs to you, it costs you nothing. But yes, I think there has been a negative pull on the British media and I blame some of the proprietors for that. I still think the BBC is pretty good and I would defend it to the death, even though I have never worked for it.

LEGS__AKIMBO663 karma

When you stop broadcasting, (which I hope won't be for a while yet!), would you ever consider going into politics? I ask that as you have been so close to it for so long.

jonsnowc42938 karma

It's quite a depressing scene right now and I'd prefer to die broadcasting.

Xamepon651 karma

Are you on Big Fat Quiz of the Year again this year?

jonsnowc4820 karma

I sure am, and I think this one could be the best one yet

TakenByTom598 karma

Jon !

I am the Irish guy who said hello to you behind Notre Dame after the attacks in Paris a couple of weeks back. Thank you so much for stopping to take time to speak to me and my friend, I really appreciate it!

If I could ask you anything, I would ask how do you keep patience and optimism for the people of Palestine? Your reports about that part of the world are some of the most insightful and compassionate.

Thanks again !

jonsnowc4688 karma

Actually, those people who have the opportunity to go to the region and meet and talk with the people who live there, will find it very difficult not to form an affinity with them. They are bright, engaged and under any other circumstances, would be part of one of the most able societies on Earth. That's why I find it easy to report there.

Mannersarefree581 karma

Who is the most impressive politician you've talked with before?

jonsnowc41349 karma

Well, inevitably, Nelson Mandela. But there are others, too: there was an amazing Norwegian foreign minister called Jonas Gahr Støre, who had a brilliant grasp of world affairs and I reckon could yet be a candidate for Secretary General of the United Nations.

Fudgiee455 karma

Happiest moment in your career?

jonsnowc4916 karma

Getting the job! (this job)

vashtiii407 karma

Where do you get your ties?

jonsnowc4678 karma

Anywhere I can find them – particularly craft shows – but I have a favourite, who has made ties that I have bought for 30 years, and she's called Victoria Richards and operates out of Peckham – funny? Peckham Rye tie?

lunchtimereddit393 karma

Out of all the people you have interviewed, who has been the most frustratingly evasive?

jonsnowc41233 karma

That's a wide field — I don't think she was evasive, it's just that Mrs Thatcher used to answer her own questions, so I just asked mine to the wall behind her.

loudribs345 karma

You, David Dimbleby and Trevor McDonald are locked in a shipping container and only one of you is getting out alive. Which one of you will it be?

jonsnowc4990 karma

Most certainly it will be me. I am completely ruthless when it comes to competition. And although I pretend to have a degree of compassion and generosity, I'm out of here! Screw the others!

shyboots325 karma

Do you watch BBC News much and what do you make of it if you do?

jonsnowc4663 karma

I listen to BBC News more than I watch it, and I think BBC radio news and the news-based programming is exceptional. In all honesty, I have television news on my desk from assorted channels, all day, so I have very little appetite to watch any more of it when I get home.

reverendbeast319 karma

It's a matter of record that the UK Secret Intelligence Service tried and failed to recruit you in the mid 70s. Have you ever regretted your decision to turn them down given how the nature of threats to the UK have changed, and did they ever try again?

jonsnowc4689 karma

How do you know I really did turn them down?! Maybe I was just conning you.

But seriously, I did turn them down. I have never regretted it, I couldn't possibly have been a journalist and a spook on the side, and nothing that has happened since has made me change my mind.

sheepwithascarf292 karma

What do you think of Donald Trump? How will you react if he eventually wins the US presidential election?

jonsnowc41796 karma

I don't think of Donald Trump. I find it the easiest way to get over him, and I think if the rest of the world followed suit, we won't need to worry about him ever becoming President of the United States.

yaaa_gunners_yaaa256 karma

Jon, just wanted to say that Channel 4 news is an absolutely fantastic program. Truly brilliant. I consider yourself and Krishnan to be the Batman and Robin of world news.

My question for you is: how do you structure your day so that when you're on air at 7 you're fully prepared and briefed? Do you have a team who you go over the events of the day with or do you formulate most of your lines of questioning yourself?

Also how many ties do you roughly own?

ALSO is it really true that you once contemplated taking out Idi Amin? Didn't you also once conduct some sort of commando style operation in a wetsuit to rescue somebody on a ship in the Shatt al-Arab waterway?

jonsnowc4248 karma

You've been reading my book! Shooting History; still available from Amazon. Yes to the wetsuit. Yes to Idi Amin.

As to the way I prepare, no two days are ever the same. You'd be amazed at the editorial process getting from the meeting at 9am to transmission at 7pm.

Match_stick177 karma

What can be done to save the distinct voice of Channel 4 news ?

jonsnowc4352 karma

Raise your voice! Get a petition going! Tell your MP to do something about it! It's yours, it costs you nothing, and it's genuinely different from anything else on offer.

If they sold it off, they wouldn't give you the money, and whatever followed afterwards would not be able to afford Channel 4 News.

SantagetoutClause158 karma

Hi Jon, thanks for doing this AMA! What do you think is currently the biggest political problem facing Britain at the moment? And how do you think it might develop?

jonsnowc4460 karma

Housing and the deep inequality between rich and poor. Particularly between very rich and very poor. I don't think there will be a revolution but it has all the characteristics of what has led to revolution in the past.

Muscat15154 karma

What's your opinion on the media providing a platform for organisations like ISIS through publicising their content, or for racist public figures such as Donald Trump? Should the media publish everything or should we not provide a platform for racist, hate-filled comments?

jonsnowc4349 karma

Well, the fundamental is that we must strive to protect free speech and that includes having to put up with people like Donald Trump. BUT there are laws that govern racism, homophobia and other grim conditions and those laws should be upheld at every turn.

takesthebiscuit147 karma

Hi Jon, Have you ever been properly scooped?

Had a huge story ready to break, only to see a rivals paper and have the full page devoted your last few weeks worth of work before your eyes.

Or vice versa, what is the biggest story you had to just go with because you knew someone was about to go to press?

jonsnowc4240 karma

Endlessly! But then you try and cook yours up to look a bit different, and try to make it just as exclusive. But, I always think, the viewer and the reader can spot what's going on.

Ryannnnnn140 karma

Given your coining of Poppy Fascism, a term with which I agree, are there any other over sensitivities in society that you are sick of?

jonsnowc4310 karma

I am worried about the empire. Any moment now, somebody could come knocking on your door and invite you to receive the Order of the British Empire (OBE) even become a Member of the British Empire (MBE) or worse still a Commander of the Birth Empire (CBE).

It does seem to me time that we respected the idea of honouring achievers in our society without inflict them with this antediluvian word 'empire'.

Juapp110 karma

Which politician have you been most impressed by; Cameron, Blair, Milliband or Corbyn?

jonsnowc4642 karma

I have been impressed by all of them, for some moment in time. Some of those moments have been very short.

foofly106 karma

Hi Jon, thanks for doing this. Is there a meaning to the sock colours?

jonsnowc4445 karma

I choose them carefully every morning, and they are informed by how I feel, whether I am in love, who I'm going to meet today, what's happened in the news, and whether I have any oats left for my porridge.

Brighter colours seem to suggest for me a brighter day, and I hope to infect others with the same idea! Men in drab grey socks are a grim and distressing sight.

DankJack103 karma

You're one of the few journalists I can stomach.

What do you think of aggressive interviewers?

Personally I'm a bit sick of all these wannabe Paxmans. They just come off as rude.

jonsnowc4197 karma

I think charm is a very important element of good interviewing, there is absolutely no point being rude - very occasionally I have been and I have always regretted it.

The-crazy-bus-driver83 karma

What would you say are the key differences between UK and USA news, if any?

jonsnowc4329 karma

US news, with notable exceptions (NY Times), is incredible parochial and myopic and despite its sensationalism and absurdity the diversity of the British press does serve to ensure that there is some brilliant reporting across the board.

ItsSuperRob79 karma

Jon, do you believe that more news organisations should refer to ISIS as 'Daesh'?

jonsnowc4315 karma

I think it probably would be a good idea to agree what they're actually called, and I think the more we use the words Islamic and State we play into the prospect that, in some dastardly way, they will come to represent both.

IAmCalledMark69 karma

As someone looking to become a journalist what tips have you got for getting into the industry? Also is it worth applying for Student membership of the National Union of Journalists?

jonsnowc4131 karma

Work experience, internships — neither of these will make you any money at all, but they will introduce you to our world, and to people who may become useful contacts when you try to get a job.

In the meantime, wherever you are, try to blog or tweet or Facebook what you're seeing. Good luck!

centipod59 karma

Did you really drive down the M40 off your face on acid?

jonsnowc4236 karma

No, it was a light whiff of hash

Kazelrov56 karma

If you could add one newsreader/reporter to the Channel 4 team from any other news organisation, who would you pick?

jonsnowc4110 karma

I'd try to retrieve Katie Razzall from Newsnight. Because she's someone I have worked with and who's work I admire.

petitsfilous39 karma

Big fan of your ties, Jon!

You're a friend of Shelter and an advocate for social housing - in your opinion, what measures could be taken to increase or improve social housing in the UK? Do you think it's a case of changing perceptions as well as policy?

jonsnowc483 karma

I think the housing crisis is as serious as it was in the aftermath of the Second World War, and that humanity demands that we should use the same effort and resource to resolve it.

Atrocitusrex32 karma

Good evening Mr. Snow - I'm curious; do you feel that tabloid newspapers like the Sun and The Daily Star as well as the paparazzi still have a place in modern British society, and what lessons we should have learned following the death of Princess Diana, also - should our press institutions have some kind of oversight in order to protect and reinforce privacy issues in the wake of the phone hacking scandal?

jonsnowc4105 karma

Only the police call me Mr Snow. We live in a free society so we can decide amongst ourselves by our buying and reading habits as to whether any of these organs should exist.

I'm not wild about press regulation. Free speech is the overwhelming guardian.

talkingbiscuits32 karma

Have you ever encountered a story that made you question why you got into journalism?

Trainee journalist here, huge respect for you.

jonsnowc473 karma

Never! Never. Indeed quite the reverse. Every single day I find myself saying 'Thank God I have the privilege of being a journalist and allowed to report what I'm seeing'.

JungleDuck31 karma

Which historical figure would you most like to interview?

jonsnowc4112 karma

I would like to have interviewed Boadicea, she must have been quite a goer!

Kilava29 karma

Do you find it hard to remain neutral when reporting on a story? Has there ever been a time when you wished you could have given your own opinion rather than report what you have been told to say?

Additionally, in the game Tension (where you have to name the 10 things on a card of a certain category) why is your name not one of the 10 "top ten British news reporters". Every time I shout your name out first, then moan afterwards that your name should appear on the card!

jonsnowc448 karma

I try to report exactly what I see. But of course, that often depends on who you are and how you see what you're seeing. Everybody has opinions, I try to ensure that I offset my own in so much as is possible.

deadshotreadytofuck21 karma

Hey Jon! What do you do in your free time? What are your hobbies?

jonsnowc457 karma

I like doing watercolours, playing tennis and standing on my head.

BallbagasaurusRex20 karma

Hi Jon.

Why hasn't Channel 4 News covered the story of the Tory British MP, Lucy Allan, who added the words "Unless you die" to the end of one of her constituent's emails to make it look like she had a death threat, and then pasted it on her Facebook account? Jeremy Corbyn gets destroyed by the UK media for not bowing down enough, yet a Tory MP gets hardly any attention at all. Why hasn't it been on Channel 4 News?

jonsnowc430 karma

It's not for lack of trying, but once an obscure MP decides never to speak to the media, its very difficult to take the story further. But I suspect her chances of re-election may have been somewhat damaged.

lunchtimereddit17 karma

How do you feel about the mainstream medias lack of objectivety?

jonsnowc438 karma

I think in some ways it creates a bit of absurdity, but then you could argue that in a capitalist system, somebody's got to put the money up and make a profit. I'm glad I don't.

Kaspar_N13 karma

Have you ever gotten a death threat?what do you think of Donald Trump(for his Muslim ban ...)? And did you watch game of thrones?

jonsnowc424 karma

I have trod the path of objectivity so exceptionally, that as yet, nobody has threatened to kill me.

externalyflamey10 karma

Rumours abound that the government want to privatise channel 4.

Any truth to them, or is it a game the government is playing to get more favourable coverage, like the game they are playing with the BBC's charter renewal?

jonsnowc422 karma

I hope that they're merely ensuring that we are in good shape. We are. We cost you nothing!

zestylimeo9 karma

Hi Jon,

Two Billion Miles sounds like a gripping narrative piece that is painfully relevant in times like this. Was there an event or a person that didn't quite make it onto the show that you're still thinking about and wanted to share with the world?

jonsnowc421 karma

I think there's an event every single day that didn't quite make it on to the show but that I wish had sone so. The refugee crisis is still a crisis even when we don't show it and that is true of so much else - Gaza, Boko Haram's activities in northern Nigeria, I could go on more.

jamadan9 karma

Have you ever felt undermined by C4 where they couldn't support a theme or opinion you have displayed in reporting, and; have C4 ever not shown (or distanced themselves from being affiliated with) something you have investigated?

jonsnowc414 karma

Absolutely never - and that's why it needs to be preserved! It costs you nothing!