Diary: Disaster reporter Jaffa takes no chances on meeting ex-colleague

Sam Jaffa, Europe Middle East and Africa media relations head at PricewaterhouseCoopers, who spent a significant part of his career reporting on disasters for the BBC, bumped into the woman who sent him to cover his first disaster at the Communication Directors Forum on Thursday.

Sam Jaffa, Europe Middle East and Africa media relations head at

PricewaterhouseCoopers, who spent a significant part of his career

reporting on disasters for the BBC, bumped into the woman who sent him

to cover his first disaster at the Communication Directors Forum on

Thursday.



When Jaffa was a young reporter in the early-1980s at BBC Radio Stoke,

Sandra Chalmers, now communication director at Help The Aged, was his

station manager. She sent him to Northern Ireland one Christmas to do a

light piece on the local Cheshire regiment, which had been posted to

Ballykelly.



While Jaffa was there, the Irish National Liberation Army planted a bomb

in a pub which killed 17 people. Jaffa’s reporting of the event caught

the attention of BBC bosses and he went on to work for BBC national

Network Radio.



Jaffa made his name reporting tragedies like the sinking of the Herald

of Free Enterprise, when 135 people died, and the Exxon Valdez tanker

disaster.



As the Communication Directors Forum took place aboard a ship, it’s no

surprise that, as Chalmers and Jaffa caught up over a drink after a

safety drill, Jaffa kept his lifejacket firmly strapped on.



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