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Nick Bryant

Nick Bryant New York correspondent

These are my reflections on life in New York, the unofficial capital of the world

Brian Williams and the decline of the US news anchor

  • 5 February 2015
  • From the section Magazine
Television journalist Brian Williams arrives at the Asbury Park Convention Hall during red carpet arrivals prior to the New Jersey Hall of Fame inductions, in Asbury Park, N.J 13 November 2014
NBC's top news presenter Brian Williams has apologised for the "mistake"

Usually it's in late night bars that journalists are prone to exaggeration. But fabricating a story on a late-night talk show, and then repeating it, has landed Brian Williams in trouble.

Appearing on the David Letterman show in 2013, he told a riveting story from the Iraq war of how his helicopter was forced down after being hit by a rocket propelled grenade.

Last week, on the NBC Nightly News, he repeated the story again, with graphic pictures of the incident.

The trouble was that Williams was not on board the damaged helicopter, and now it's his reputation that is incurring collateral damage after an embarrassing on-air apology.

To journalists tempted to embellish their war stories, this is a cautionary tale. At a time when late-night satirists are usurping primetime news presenters, it also shows the dangers of ridiculing yourself.

Read full article Brian Williams and the decline of the US news anchor

Mitt Romney: The aura of a serial loser

Mitt Romney, speaks at the podium as he concedes the presidency during Mitt Romney's campaign election night event at the Boston Convention 7 November 2012
Mitt Romney's presidential runs were hobbled by his image problems, Nick Bryant writes

The shiny black hair, the quarterback smile, the lantern jaw. Mitt Romney has never had any difficulty looking like an American president.

Getting voters to elect him to that job has long been a problem. In 2008, he failed in his first attempt to win the Republican presidential nomination partly because he was seen as inauthentic - a moderate Republican, who had served as the governor of liberal Massachusetts, who tried too hard to recast himself as a conservative.

Read full article Mitt Romney: The aura of a serial loser

Snowperbole: New Yorkers ask 'Is that it?'

Commuters make their way across the Brooklyn Bridge after a snow storm in New York January 27, 2015.

In the end it was the threat of a monster storm that paralysed New York City, rather than the snowfall itself.

Just five inches were recorded in Central Park, nowhere near the forecast of up to three feet. Warnings, near apocalyptic, that the city faced an extreme weather event of epic and historic proportions, which started with a press conference on Sunday conducted by New York Mayor's Bill de Blasio, now sound alarmist.

Read full article Snowperbole: New Yorkers ask 'Is that it?'

MLK's Selma march captured by Stephen Somerstein's lens

  • 19 January 2015
  • From the section Magazine

Some of the most memorable news imagery of the post-war years came from the struggle for black equality, when photojournalism doubled as iconography.

So shocking were the front page pictures from Birmingham, Alabama, in the spring of 1963 of police German shepherd dogs tearing at the clothes and flesh of young protesters that it roused public support for the landmark 1964 Civil Rights Act that dismantled segregation in the south.

Read full article MLK's Selma march captured by Stephen Somerstein's lens

Maine 'thinking locally' on Ebola nurse quarantine

Television cameras stand on the road across from the house of nurse Kaci Hickox in Fort Kent, Maine 30 October 2014

Even without the Halloween decorations adorning many of the houses, the small Maine border town of Fort Kent would have something of a ghostly feel.

There are few people on the streets, and little activity. Early this morning, it was just a few locals arriving in their pick-up trucks at the hardware shop on the main drag in town, and a couple of people dropping by a diner.

Read full article Maine 'thinking locally' on Ebola nurse quarantine

US mid-terms: Will national security decide New Hampshire race?

New Hampshire is a state where the Republican attempts to turn these congressional elections into a referendum on President Barack Obama run up against that stubborn old adage "all politics is local".

A close Senate race pits the first-term incumbent Jeanne Shaheen against Scott Brown, the former senator from neighbouring Massachusetts, who has crossed the state line in a bid to revive his political career.

Read full article US mid-terms: Will national security decide New Hampshire race?

Nick added analysis to:

Lakhdar Brahimi: UN Syria envoy stepping down

Lakhdar Brahimi has long been one of the UN's most trusted and effective diplomatic troubleshooters, having worked in the past in Iraq and Afghanistan.

But the 80-year-old Algerian has made it known for months he intended to step down from one of world diplomacy's toughest and most thankless jobs.

Read full article Lakhdar Brahimi: UN Syria envoy stepping down

Nick added analysis to:

Ukraine's Yanukovych asked for troops, Russia tells UN

  • 4 March 2014
  • From the section Europe

Covering the UN on Monday felt like time-travelling back to the days of the Cold War, when America and the Soviet Union used the Security Council not as a forum to resolve problems but as a platform to voice strong rhetoric.

Lending the angry session an even more nostalgic feel, it also featured a prop - a letter from Ukraine's ousted President Yanukovych, brandished by Russia's Ambassador Vitaly Churkin, requesting Moscow's intervention to protect the country's Russian-speaking people.

Read full article Ukraine's Yanukovych asked for troops, Russia tells UN

Nick added analysis to:

David Beckham 'living a dream' with MLS franchise in Miami

  • 5 February 2014
  • From the section Football

"Dotted with palm trees and heavily populated with Spanish-speaking residents, Miami is a north American city with a south American feel.

"So despite all the other sports the city has to offer - American football, baseball, basketball - it's a natural home for professional football, or soccer as it's called here. It also casts itself as one of America's glamour cities, which again suits the Beckham brand.

Read full article David Beckham 'living a dream' with MLS franchise in Miami

Michael Bloomberg's contested legacy as New York mayor

Michael Bloomberg

Michael Bloomberg has overseen the transformation of New York City during his 12 years as mayor. But as he prepares to leave office the billionaire businessman's political legacy is contested.

In a city that favours large and flamboyant personalities, Michael Bloomberg is hardly the sort to light up a room. He is a data-driven technocrat, an entrepreneur with vast personal wealth but lacking comparable charisma.

Read full article Michael Bloomberg's contested legacy as New York mayor

More Correspondents

  • Mark Mardell Mark Mardell Presenter, The World This Weekend

    Reflections on what’s behind the world's big stories.

  • Katty Kay, BBC World News Katty Kay Presenter, BBC World News

    The power plays in Washington and beyond

  • Jonny Dymond Jonny Dymond Washington correspondent

    My reflections, from the road, on American life

About Nick

Before becoming the BBC's New York and United Nations correspondent, Nick was based in Washington, South Asia and Sydney.

In Washington, he covered the presidencies of Bill Clinton and George W Bush, while in South Asia he reported from the sharp end of the Bush administration's war on terror in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

He has filed from many of the world's most famous datelines, including the White House, the Kremlin, the DMZ on the Korean Peninsula, Downing Street, Ground Zero and Guantanamo Bay.

He has also reported from many trouble spots, including Afghanistan, Kashmir, Gaza, Sri Lanka, Iran and Rwanda.

A history graduate from Cambridge with a PhD in American politics from Oxford, he is the author of two books, The Bystander: John F Kennedy and the Struggle for Black Equality, and Confessions from Correspondentland.

He is married to the Australian fashion designer Fleur Wood.

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