John Schofield was working at BBC Radio 4’s The World Tonight when he died on 9 August 1995 aged 29.
He was killed by Croatian soldiers close to the border between Bosnia and Croatia who believed that the BBC World Service Television unit he was with was a Serb-surveillance team. At the time, John was the 76th journalist to be killed covering the wars in former Yugoslavia.
John was born in 1965 and grew up in Weybridge in a family of five children. After school at Westminster, John went on to study history at Sussex University.
He began his journalist-career whilst at Sussex working on the student newspaper Unionews and the campus radio station, University Radio Falmer, as well as on the student-access programme run at the time on BBC Radio Sussex.
After Sussex he went straight to ITN in 1987 as a graduate-trainee where he worked on all ITN’s news programmes. His first job was as a reporter on the Channel 4 Daily until its axing in 1992, when he moved to Channel 4 News to work as a producer.
In 1994 he switched to the BBC to become a reporter on Radio 4’s The World Tonight. He worked in a number of war zones, including Northern Ireland, Beirut, the Gulf War and the Balkan conflict.
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From those who knew John
"John was a quiet, courageous man of great integrity. He was much admired by us all. He had a great career in front of him. I think most people outside the news business take news for granted. They expect it to be there day by day but we should all remember that it’s the work of people like John, their dedication, that ensures we all enjoy that precious thing that’s the life blood of any democracy – freely available information. All of us are proud of what John achieved." Tony Hall, the then Managing Director, News & Current Affairs, BBC
"First on the Channel 4 Daily, then on Channel 4 News and finally on Radio Four’s World Tonight, he established himself as a gifted and thoughtful reporter. He loved what he did and he gave everything for it. I’ve never seen anyone so single-mindedly determined to be a reporter and not just any reporter but a thoroughly good one…. John’s death was shockingly unnecessary, arbitrary and incredibly unlucky. He was an exceptional enthusiast who died doing what he did best, searching out and telling the truth. The BBC, ITN, the viewer and the listener are the poorer without him.’ Jon Snow, Channel 4 News