Kenneth Stewart attended Whitgift from 2001 to 2006. He had an interest in Journalism and News since school and received some experience at the Observer during his time at Whitgift.
After school, he studied History at the University of Leeds. His very first professional experience was as a TV live subtitler for hard hearing and deaf viewers.
During this time Kenneth found a few contacts, met people from Sky News and took the opportunity to reach out in the hope to get experience working for them. Thanks to his proactiveness and determination, Kenneth was able to freelance for some people he had reached out to as a Text Producer. Those shifts materialized as a full-time staff position the following year, getting him closer to his dream job.
Kenneth continued to network and reach out to work with people who were in roles and positions he was striving towards. Again, his perseverance worked out, and by 2015, he joined the foreign news desk at Sky News. It had been his ambition to work for a major news agency covering international news.
He shared with us some of the most memorable moments in his career at Sky News, including many trips abroad, undercover reportage and award-winning environmental news coverage.
From 2018 to 2019 he was based in Istanbul working as a Foreign News Producer for Sky News’ special correspondent Alex Crawford. During that year, Kenneth’s assignments involved reporting from war zones such as Syria and Libya for which he covered major events including the final battle against I.S. and the upsurge of violence in both countries. He also covered the collapse of Venezuela.
He also had the opportunity to spend two months filming and producing a feature-length documentary about the environmental damage and pollution in the River Nile which required him to travel all along the Nile River in 5 different African countries including Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia, South Sudan, and Egypt. “The Plastic Nile” was the first-ever study regarding the impacts of plastic commissioned pollution in the river. The documentary received an environmental news coverage award.
More of his adventures and work involved travelling to the United States during the US presidential campaign of 2016 before Trump got elected. More recently, he covered Beirut’s massive explosion in August 2020 and travelled to Belarus during the protests against the president.
Due to travel restrictions linked to the pandemic, there are no trips scheduled for the year ahead yet. However, Kenneth is currently focusing on his main role in London which is running the foreign news desk for the day-to-day news coverage.
Kenneth admits that his long-lived dream faced many stressful situations and knockbacks, however, he advises that the key to his success has been persistence and grabbing onto every opportunity that came his way.