Tim Marshall (journalist)

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Tim Marshall
Tim Marshall.JPG
Marshall in 2015
Timothy John Marshall

(1959-05-01) 1 May 1959 (age 64)
England, United Kingdom
Education Prince Henry's Grammar School, Otley
Occupation(s)Journalist, author, broadcaster
Notable credit(s) Sky News
Website thewhatandthewhy.com

Timothy John Marshall (born 1 May 1959) is a British journalist, author, and broadcaster, specialising in foreign affairs and international diplomacy. Marshall is a guest commentator on world events for the BBC, [1] Sky News and a guest presenter on LBC, and was formerly the diplomatic and also foreign affairs editor for Sky News.


He has written seven books including Prisoners of Geography [2] – a New York Times Best Seller [3] and #1 Sunday Times bestseller. [4] He also released a children's illustrated version of this book in 2019, Prisoners of Geography: Our World Explained in 12 Simple Maps , nominated for Waterstones Book of the Year. [5] Other titles include The Power of Geography a #2 Sunday Times bestseller; Shadowplay: The Inside Story Of Europe's Last War, [6] and 2018 Sunday Times bestseller Divided: Why We’re Living In An Age Of Walls . [7]

Marshall is founder and editor of news web platform thewhatandthewhy.com, a site for journalists, politicians, foreign affairs analysts, and enthusiasts to share their views on world news events.


Marshall was educated at Prince Henry's Grammar School, a state-funded comprehensive school in the market town of Otley, near Leeds, West Yorkshire.


Marshall began his journalistic career reporting for LBC and was their Paris Bureau Correspondent for three years. He has also reported for the BBC and has written for a number of national newspapers. He was also the longstanding Foreign Affairs Editor and then Diplomatic Editor for Sky News.

During over twenty-four years at Sky News, Marshall reported from thirty countries and covered the events of twelve wars. He has reported from Europe, the United States, (covering three US Presidential Elections), and Asia, as well as from the field in Bosnia, Croatia and Serbia during the Balkan wars of the 1990s. He spent the majority of the 1999 Kosovo crisis in Belgrade, where he was one of the few western journalists who stayed on to report from one of the main targets of NATO bombing raids. He was in Kosovo on the day NATO troops advanced into Pristina.

Marshall reported from the front line during the invasion of Afghanistan and spent time in Iraq, reporting on the country's transition to democracy. He has reported from Libya, Egypt, Syria and Tunisia during the uprisings across the Arab World. As Sky News Middle East Correspondent, based in Jerusalem, he covered Israel's Gaza disengagement in August 2005. He was also Sky News Europe Correspondent, heading up their Brussels news bureau and also regularly contributed to the channel's former World News Tonight international news bulletin (including as stand-in host).

Marshall's blog, 'Foreign Matters', was short-listed for the Orwell Prize 2010. [8] In 2004 he was a finalist in the Royal Television Society's News Event category for his Iraq War coverage. He won finalist certificates in 2007, for a report on the Mujahideen, and in 2004 for his documentary 'The Desert Kingdom' which featured exclusive access to Crown Prince Abdullah and his palaces.

One of his most notable moments on Sky News involved a six-hour unbroken broadcast during the first Gulf War. He was the last journalist to interview Pakistan's Benazhir Bhutto ahead of her return from exile and subsequent assassination.

Marshall's book, Prisoners of Geography, [9] was released in the UK in July 2015 and in the U.S. in October 2015. [10] He continues to broadcast and comment on foreign affairs and is a regular guest on BBC, Sky News and on Monocle 24 Radio's 'Midori House'. [11] [12]

Marshall with Robert Elms, BBC London 94.9, August 2014. Interview about Marshall's book Dirty Northern B*st*rds Tim Marshall Robert Elms 2014.JPG
Marshall with Robert Elms, BBC London 94.9, August 2014. Interview about Marshall's book Dirty Northern B*st*rds

He is the founder and editor of thewhatandthewhy.com. [13] Launched in February 2015, the site analyses world events and has contributions from writers from the world of politics and journalism.

Personal life

Tim Marshall is reported to be a supporter of Leeds United - on Politics Live on 22 February 2022, a Leeds United logo was visible at his home in Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire. In his book Shadowplay: The Inside Story of Europe's Last War, Marshall says that he was supporting Bayern Munich in the 1999 UEFA Champions League final against Manchester United because he was a Leeds United supporter.


Marshall has written a number of books including:

Politics of place series

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  1. Daily Politics: "Howarth and Marshall on UK-Egypt relations", at bbc.co.uk Accessed 15 April 2017
  2. "Prisoners of Geography: Ten Maps That Tell You Everything You Need To Know About Global Politics". Elliott & Thompson. Archived from the original on 25 October 2018. Retrieved 7 August 2015.
  3. "10: PRISONERS OF GEOGRAPHY by Tim Marshall; Scribner". Books/best-sellers travel at nytimes.com. Accessed 15 April 2017.
  4. "Prisoners of Geography: Waterstones Nonfiction Book of the Month and a Sunday Times Bestseller!" Archived 30 October 2017 at the Wayback Machine 11 August 2016 - Elliott & Thompson. Accessed 15 April 2017.
  5. "Waterstones Book of the Year 2019'. Waterstones.
  6. "Shadowplay". The Booktrail. 7 June 2019.
  7. "Tim Marshall's new book: Divided". London Speaker Bureau. 1 February 2018.
  8. "Tim Marshall". The Orwell Prize.
  9. "Prisoners of Geography: Ten Maps That Tell You Everything You Need To Know About Global Politics - Elliott & Thompson". Archived from the original on 27 April 2015. Retrieved 5 March 2015.
  10. "Prisoners of Geography". simonandschuster.
  11. "Midori House". Monocle. Accessed 15 April 2017
  12. "The Monocle Weekly: Stuart Semple, Tim Marshall and Anna Smith" ('...Tim Marshall discusses the history of flags...') Accessed 15 April 2017
  13. "Tim Marshall - The What and The Why - Extremes are easy. The centre is hard".
  14. Simon Redfern (13 September 2014). "Book of the week: 'Dirty Northern B*st*rds!': Britain's Football" . The Independent. Archived from the original on 7 May 2022.
  15. BBC news piece about Mickey Deane: 'Sky's foreign affairs editor Tim Marshall described Deane as "a friend, brave as a lion but what a heart... what a human being"' Accessed 15 April 2017
  16. books-of-the-month at waterstones.com (August 2016 version needed) Accessed 15 April 2017
  17. "Keith Simpson MP's Summer Reading List - 'Tim Marshall... timely reminder of the importance of geopolitics in Prisoners of Geography...'". Accessed 15 April 2017
  18. Nicholas Lezard (13 August 2015). "Prisoners of Geography: Ten Maps That Tell You Everything You Need to Know About Global Politics by Tim Marshall - review". Evening Standard.
  19. "The 10 Maps That Tell you Everything You Need to Know about Global Politics". Newsweek. 1 August 2015.
  20. "Worth Dying For: The Power and Politics of Flags" listed at Elliott & Thompson Accessed 15 April 2017
  21. "Former Sky News editor pens book on flags" 13 May 2016 by Katherine Cowdrey at thebookseller.com Accessed 15 April 2017