ABC News has announced two new correspondent appointments to its London bureau, with Samantha Hawley to become the next London bureau chief and Linton Besser one of the Europe correspondents.
Hawley will replace Lisa Millar, who leaves the bureau chief post in September after three years in the key role. Besser will take over in coming months from Steve Cannane following his stint as Europe correspondent.
Hawley brings to the key bureau chief position extensive experience in daily news, current affairs, international reporting and bureau management. Her previous roles include South-East Asia correspondent, based in Bangkok, and Indonesia bureau chief, based in Jakarta.
In both posts she broke major news stories including reporting on the military coup in Thailand, the disappearance of MH370 and the downing of MH17, the Nepal earthquakes and the 2016 Jakarta terrorist attack.
Hawley found the mother of “Baby Gammy” and provided exclusive coverage of the Thai adoption scandal, broke the story of how some Jakarta mosques were providing platforms to ISIS recruiters and secured the interview with Jakarta governor Ahok, which became a flashpoint for Islamic fundamentalists in Indonesia.
Besser is currently one of Four Corners’ key investigative reporters, producing news-breaking reports on issues such as irrigation rorts in the Murray-Darling Basin. Last year he became news himself when he and camera operator Louie Eroglu were arrested and briefly detained in Malaysia for asking questions about prime ministerial corruption.
Prior to joining the ABC, Besser’s reporting for Fairfax Media was critical in the exposure of endemic NSW political corruption at the start of the decade and prompted public enquiries and criminal trials.