International Security Editor
His work in Syria and Iraq has been recognized with multiple awards including the 2018 David Kaplan Award from the Overseas Press Club for his reporting on the fall of ISIS, two News Emmy Awards in 2018 for 'The Fall of Raqqa', two Edward R. Murrow Awards in 2013 and one in 2018, three Peabody Awards for CNN's coverage in Syria in 2012, for its ISIS reporting in 2016 and for the network's coverage of the fall of ISIS in Iraq and Syria in 2018. Additionally, his script-writing in Syria and Afghanistan won an Emmy in 2013 for Outstanding Writing.
In 2019 alone, Paton Walsh reported from inside Venezuela undercover as its crisis unfolded, revealing key details and videos about the plot to assassinate Nicolas Maduro with commercial drones, and the hugely profitable drug routes that run north through the embattled country, enriching its military and elite. In Iran, he interviewed foreign minister Javad Zarif, whose threat of "all-out war" if Iran was attacked made headlines across the world. He also reported on the Turkish incursion into Kurdish held areas of Syria and broke a series of stories on the shelved US withdrawal from Syria. Additionally, Paton Walsh reported from the Amazon rainforest as it experienced its worst fires in at least a decade.
After joining CNN in 2011, Paton Walsh was based in Afghanistan at length on the chaotic close of NATO's campaign there. He then moved in 2012 to Beirut for the network, where he reported inside Syria at the height of its civil war. He followed the rise of ISIS - from the first moments they moved into Syria in 2013, to their spread in Libya and Afghanistan - to their fall in Mosul over three years later, and their final collapse in Raqqa in late 2017.
Fluent in Russian, he has also covered the Russian-backed invasion of Ukraine, the expansion of the fighting into Donetsk, and was the first Western reporter into Debaltseve in 2015 when the key city fell to separatists. Paton Walsh also reported from Dagestan in the aftermath of the 2013 Boston bombings, interviewing the family of the Tsarnaev brothers and establishing some of the first links to militants there. He has reported on natural disasters in the Caribbean and Philippines. He won an Eppy award in 2018 for his reporting on gang violence in El Salvador and one in 2017 for CNN's 'Midway Island' report on plastic pollution in the Pacific.
Paton Walsh first reported for CNN from Pakistan in March 2011. He was subsequently the network's first correspondent reporting live from Abbotabad covering the death of Osama Bin Laden, where he obtained exclusive video from inside the al-Qaeda leader's compound and broke the story that a courier's cell phone signal had led American troops there.
Previously he spent several years working in Asia for the UK's Channel Four News, focusing on Afghanistan where he gained rare access to a tiny and isolated American outpost near the Pakistani border - COP Keating - which was overrun by insurgents, and covered the 2009 presidential election crisis.
While Asia and foreign affairs correspondent at Channel Four News he secured a rare and exclusive interview with the Russian alleged arms dealer Viktor Bout, while his team's reports on alleged human rights abuses in Sri Lanka at the end of the civil war led to their forced deportation from the country.
From 2002 to 2006, Paton Walsh was the Moscow Correspondent for the Guardian newspaper during the rise of Vladimir Putin. He reported on both the Dubrovka theatre siege and the Beslan school hostage crisis, alongside the revolutions in Georgia, Ukraine, and Kyrgyzstan and developments from the troubled North Caucasus.
Paton Walsh won the British Press Awards' Young Journalist of the Year in 2000, aged 22. He won Amnesty International's Gaby Rado Award for a reporter at the start of their career in 2006 for his work in the former Soviet Union, and their television award for his work in Sri Lanka in 2010.
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