«Class of 2012

Martyn Williams

Senior correspondent, IDG News Service, Silicon Valley, Calif.

Project: Tools allowing news organizations to securely connect with citizens in authoritarian countries.

Playing with the AM radio dial one evening, 10-year-old Martyn Williams came across a broadcast from Radio Sweden. This first exposure to broadcasting across borders captivated Williams and eventually led him to study electronic engineering at London’s South Bank University. In 1989, he was an early adopter of satellite TV, just in time to watch the fall of the Berlin Wall live on German TV. His interest led him to his first journalism job, covering the new satellite broadcasting industry. In 1994, he joined Newsbytes, a small news agency reporting on the tech sector. The following year, he began covering Japan’s technology industry and, in 1999, he joined IDG News Service, where he was a multimedia reporter and Tokyo bureau chief. During a visit to North Korea in 2002, Williams learned first-hand how isolated its citizens were from outside information. He began tracking North Korea’s slow adoption of technology for IDG and in a personal blog, NorthKoreaTech.org. Williams’ Twitter coverage of the 2011 tsunami and nuclear disaster in Japan earned him a place on Time Magazine’s “140 Best Twitter Feeds.”

Martyn Williams (’12) – Re-Engineering Journalism

Knight Talk: Martyn Williams

Williams makes the case for simple changes news organizations could make to protect sources who send information to them online.

Information on this page is from the fellowship year.