Peter Stefanovic: I don’t want people to be afraid of having an opinion – no matter how popular or unpopular it is.

by |December 5, 2016

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To celebrate 5 years of eBooks at Booktopia, we’re giving you the chance to win an iPad Mini!

Simply order any eBook from the Hachette Biography Showcase by December 9, 2016 and you’ll automatically go into the draw to win! One eBook that can be purchased is Peter Stefanovic’s Hack in a Flak Jacket

Peter Stefanovic was the Europe, United States, Africa, and Middle East correspondent for the Nine Network. He reported from the scene of major news events around the world for Nine News, the Today Show, and A Current Affair. He is currently the co-host of Weekend Today and a contributor to 60 Minutes. In 2014 Peter was nominated for a Walkley Award for his coverage of the war in Gaza. Below, he answers the Booktopia Book Guru’s Ten Terrifying Questions.


Peter Stefanovic’s Ten Terrifying Questions


1. To begin with why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself – where were you born? Raised? Schooled?
I was born in Brisbane but raised in Cairns. Had a pretty transient childhood and went to five different schools because we moved around so much. I loved it. It set me up for a life on the road.

2. What did you want to be when you were twelve, eighteen and thirty? And why?
When I was 12 I wanted to be a jockey because my first job was a stable hand for my auntie’s racehorses in Cairns. But then I got too tall! By 18 (after I said goodbye to a career as a professional footballer) I wanted to be a correspondent – which I was by the age of 30.

3. What strongly held belief did you have at eighteen that you do not have now?
Some of my beliefs that I had at a young age were of the religious variety. But they’ve changed as I’ve got older after so much time spent in war torn regions and witnessing terrible human behaviour.

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4. What were three big events – in the family circle or on the world stage or in your reading life, for example – you can now say, had a great effect on you and influenced you in your career path?
My family have influenced me greatly. My upbringing certainly did in that I was taught to never take anything for granted and to try to be a good person. The rest of my influences have come from my experiences on the road – the good and the bad.

5. Considering the innumerable electronic media avenues open to you – blogs, online newspapers, TV, radio, etc – why have you chosen to write a book?
I’ve always loved books. I have never read a book in the electronic format because I love having physical copies and turning pages. The smell of old books is also one of my favourites! They will never go out of fashion.

6. Please tell us about your latest book…
Hack in a Flak Jacket is about my almost ten years as a foreign correspondent for the Nine Network. I was based in the United States and Europe, and covered stories all around the world including the Middle East and Africa during a very turbulent time. The book describes my experiences and my thoughts. Some of the wars I covered are still going today.

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7. If your work could change one thing in this world – what would it be?
That people think more about what’s going on in the world around them. My work is done to highlight problems or issues and to trigger debate and encourage dialogue. I don’t want people to be afraid of having an opinion – no matter how popular or unpopular it is. I worry about that a lot these days because some people – especially online – can be so quick to point the finger and judge.

8. Whom do you most admire and why?
I most admire my friend Mick Fanning. Now there is someone people can idolise. I am inspired by his achievements and his drive – and at the end of the day remains a regular guy who is willing to help anyone out. The way he has battled through his own personal problems is also extremely admirable.

Some of my beliefs that I had at a young age were of the religious variety. But they’ve changed as I’ve got older after so much time spent in war torn regions and witnessing terrible human behaviour.

9. Many people set themselves very ambitious goals. What are yours?
I set myself a goal to be a foreign correspondent and I achieved that. Now I’m using that experience as I continue my journey in the world of journalism as a host on the today show and a reporter on 60 Minutes. I’m not sure what the next target is but I’m going to enjoy the ride!

10. What advice do you give aspiring writers?
Think outside the box. Take risks. But keep it simple! The best writing, in my opinion, is with words and sentences that readers can follow. The greats including Hemingway and Greene tick all of my boxes!

Thank you for playing, Peter!

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Peter with John Purcell (right) at Booktopia


Don’t forget, download Hack in a Flak Jacket, or any eBook from the Hachette Biography Showcase by 9 December 2016 and you’ll go into the draw to win an iPad Mini! Or, order the print book before December 16, 2016, for your chance to win $1000 worth of books!

Hack in a Flak Jacketby Peter Stefanovic

Hack in a Flak Jacket

Wars, Riots and Revolutions

by Peter Stefanovic

A startlingly honest account of experiencing war and terrorism from the frontline by Peter Stefanovic, one of Australia's leading journalists and foreign correspondents.

For almost ten years Peter Stefanovic was Channel Nine's foreign correspondent in Europe, the US, Africa and the Middle East. During that time he witnessed more than his fair share of death and destruction, and carried the burden of those images - all while putting his own personal safety very much in the firing line. From flak jackets to tuxedos...

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About the Contributor

Anastasia Hadjidemetri is the editor of The Booktopian and star of Booktopia's weekly YouTube show, Booked with Anastasia. A big reader and lover of books, Anastasia relishes the opportunity to bring you all the latest news from the world of books.

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