Martin Fletcher, NBC News' Tel Aviv bureau chief and correspondent, has covered every event of consequence in the unpredictable Middle East region including the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the crisis in the Persian Gulf. He began his Tel Aviv assignment in 1982 and took on the additional role of bureau chief in November 1990. He joined NBC News as a cameraman in August 1977 and has also been based in Johannesburg, Paris and Frankfurt.
From his base in Tel Aviv, Fletcher has covered a full spectrum of breaking news developments throughout the Middle East and around the world. He has reported on the war on terror in Afghanistan, the conflict in Kosovo and, he reported from Berlin when the walls came down and from China in the aftermath of the Tiananmen Square massacre. When NATO and American troops were hunting for General Aidid, the Somali warlord responsible for killing 18 American soldiers in Somalia, Fletcher was the only person to find and interview him for NBC Nightly News. He also became the first correspondent to enter Cambodia with the Khmer Rouge guerrillas.
During the American hostage situation in November 1979 in Teheran, Fletcher was the first television correspondent to enter the American Embassy. During his stay, he was arrested and some of his tapes were confiscated. He returned to Iran in March 1980 and when the freed hostages arrived in Algiers on January 20, 1981, he was serving as executive producer of NBC News' on-site coverage. Story continues below ↓advertisement | your ad here
In the fall of 1980, he covered battles between Iraq and Iran. The following winter, he walked from Pakistan into Afghanistan, twice with rebel forces, to report on the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. In 1981, he covered the Israeli-Lebanese clashes, strikes and protest marches in Poland, and the reaction in Libya after two of its fighter planes were shot down by American F-14s.
Fletcher began his news career in 1970 when he went to work as a television news programming writer for VisNews. In 1971, he transferred to the British Broadcasting Company (BBC) where he was a writer for the 9 O' Clock News, the BBC's national evening news program.
In January 1973, he returned to VisNews as a cameraman/writer and field producer based in Brussels, covering western and northern Europe. In September of that year he began a two-year assignment in Israel, and one week after his arrival, The October War began. He covered the Golan and Sinai fronts, then became the first foreign correspondent to cross the Suez Canal into Egypt with Israeli troops. Following the October War, he was assigned in 1974 to cover the war in Cyprus.
Fletcher has received numerous awards including five Emmys. He received his first Emmy in 1988 for his reporting on the Palestinian intifada, the second in 1994 for his coverage of Rwanda and the third in 1999 for his Kosovo coverage, which also earned him an Overseas Press Club award. In 2002 Fletcher won a fourth Emmy, the prestigious DuPont award, and the Overseas Press Club award for coverage of the Palestinian uprising. Fletcher was honored with his fifth Emmy in 2006 for coverage of Israel's war with Hezbollah . He won the Citation for Excellence from the Overseas Press Club of America in 1988 for his coverage of the first Palestinian uprising, in 1994 for his coverage in Bosnia, and again in 2001 for the second uprising. He was also named Cameraman of the Year by the British Royal Society of Television for his film story about an automobile convoy caught in a minefield, which resulted in the death of the crew's soundman.
Fletcher was born in London and graduated from the University of Bradford in Yorkshire in 1970. He worked as a French and German interpreter for the Common Market in Brussels before he joined VisNews. Fletch is the author of "Breaking News," published by St. Martin's Press in 2008.