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Stories (1992 – present day):
'I Knew The Boy Next Door Killers' ©2011
The tragic events in Norway should serve as a reminder to our politicians and pundits (as well as voices in the blogosphere) of the dangers of ignoring far-right movements and individuals. Our obsession with the 'Islamist' peril has meant taking the eye off the ball on domestic terrorism - and has even driven it. The bombs and shootings of many dozens of teenagers in Norway should shatter that complacency. Huffington Post (republished on Ryan's Rants).
WHEN AFRICA SINGS:
'A Life in the Day' of Father Kieran Creagh ©2011
Kieran Creagh, Passionist priest and director of Leratong hospice near the Atteridgeville township, South Africa, shares his daily routine with Nick Ryan. Commissioned by The Sunday Times Magazine.
Good Karma Down Under ©2011
When Pat Shepherd made the journey from his native Aberdeen to Wellington, New Zealand, a decade ago, he had little idea he would end up as a celebrated music photographer – nor that he would one day find himself on one of the most dangerous borders in the world. Published for Children on the Edge.
Nazzal fights to bring Israeli officials to justice ©2011
Mary Nazzal is creating legal waves in the campaign to bring Israeli officials to justice. Published in The National.
Expat in South Africa: Dying for Belief ©2011
When Father Kieran Creagh was shot and nearly killed in South Africa four years ago, he had little idea of the impact the event would have on his life - or his community. Published in The Telegraph.
Musical High Score ©2011
Even orcs need their own fully orchestral theme music. Wired meets Azeroth's chief composer. Published in WIRED magazine.
The Odd Couple ©2010
When a Church of England vicar and a Muslim woman in a hijab began exploring one of Britain's most divided towns, it finally got people talking. Nick Ryan meets the unlikely pair, and reports on the dialogue that is helping polarised residents bridge a cultural chasm. Published in The Reader's Digest and The National.
Beyond the Border ©2010
Inspired by The Body Shop founder Anita Roddick, one British woman is defying the Burmese military regime to bring hope to the world's most forgotten Muslim children. Published in The National.
Blackboard in the jungle ©2010
Education is critical for the survival of thousands of children and young people fleeing Burma's repressive regime. Published in The Tablet.
Helping Burmese children on the edge ©2010
Inspired by The Body Shop founder Anita Roddick, a British woman is bringing hope to the forgotten Rohingya (Burmese Muslim) children filling refugee camps in Bangladesh. Published in The Telegraph.
Faith Of A Father ©2010
When Father Kieran Creagh was shot and nearly killed in South Africa three years ago, he had little idea the impact the event would have on his life – or his community. Published in Reader's Digest (UK).
Visionary Volunteer ©2010
Inspired by Anita Roddick, one British woman vowed to change forever the lives of the world's most forgotten children. A profile of Rachel Bentley, director of charity Children on the Edge. Etc magazine. See also 'The Power of One', a profile of Rachel in The Reader's Digest (UK).
Architects Save The World © 2010
Six visionary schemes to help save the planet's resources – from an unusual group of individuals. Published in WIRED.
Insider's Chicago ©2010
If one place speaks of the 'true' America, it is the Windy City. Sitting on the shores of Lake Michigan, it has been home to President Barack Obama, infamous Prohibition gangsters and two of the world's tallest buildings. Royal Wings magazine.
Shanda Snags Success ©2010
Shanda Literature is a runaway success story in China, where 800,000 writers offer their novels to readers using cell phones. Published in WIRED.
Ella's Life ©2009
Nick Ryan meets Ella Danilowitz in Johannesburg, the woman who has pushed for so hard, and so long, to help South Africa's ageing Jewish community. The Jewish Chronicle.
'Follow The Money'©2009
In an era of financial scams and Ponzi frauds, it takes cunning, smart thinking (and a little luck) to nail the bad guys. Nick Ryan meets the 'fraud busters', the team which hunts down major-league swindlers from its luxury Caribbean base and recovers millions for victims. Now out in WIRED (UK) magazine.
'Paradise Lost' ©2009
When American investors backing The Paradise Beach (Angelus) resort were ripped off by not one, but two, con men, during a 'Christian affinity' Ponzi fraud in St. Kitts in the Caribbean, who could they turn to? Step forward the world's leading "fraud hunter", Martin Kenney. Exclusive original draft commissioned for The Mail On Sunday's Live magazine; shorter version now out in M magazine, The National newspaper.
'The Fraud Hunter' ©2009
Tracking down the world’s worst white-collar fraudsters requires a certain amount of pluck. Fortunately for Martin Kenney—the Canuck lawyer who does this stuff for a living—the job comes with one decent perk: Many of the big tax havens are in the Caribbean. Profile in Report on Business Magazine (Globe & Mail, Canada). See also follow-up profile story 'The fraud hunter' in Corporate Financier ©2010.
'Fighting Words 1.pdf' & 'Fighting Words 2.pdf' ©2009
After 10 years as an elite soldier, Duncan Falconer left the British Armed Forces to use his expertise to combat and negotiate with pirates and terrorists, while also writing bestselling novels. Nick Ryan meets the multi-talented man of action. Published in The National Magazine (UAE).
'Soldiers of God'
The Olympics may be coming to London's East End, but Nick Ryan discovers that beneath the chrome and steel of trendy 'Banglatown' lurks a darker world of gangs and drugs, which is now turning to Islam for answers. Commissioned by Esquire.
Destination: 'Brussels' ©2009
Part of a regular 'destination' series I write for Royal Jordanian Airlines Royal Wings magazine.
'Living With Dying' ©2009
What does it mean to be dying? Nick Ryan followed six people with terminal illness as they journeyed towards the end of life. A major piece in The Times Magazine.
'Lords of War' ©2009
They brave their lives in the shadowy world of mercenary riches, risking all for reward – but what are the dangers today of using so many 'soldiers of fortune' to protect corporate and diplomatic interests? Nick Ryan, who has met many private military and security contractors, looks at their motivations and at the wider industry they inhabit. Prepared for The Walrus (Canada).
'Good Heart in Africa' ©2009
Fr Kieran Creagh narrowly escaped death in Northern Ireland during the Troubles and more recently in South Africa where he founded Leratong hospice. Nick Ryan meets a man who for many epitomises the essence of priesthood and its sacrifices. The Tablet.
American Taliban ('John Walker's Blues') ©2009
With his draconian prison restrictions finally being lifted, and the arrival of a new President who has pointedly called for the closure of Guantanamo Bay, has the time come to release "the American Taliban?" Nick Ryan joins the family of John Walker Lindh in San Francisco in an exclusive for The Telegraph Magazine (UK) and The National Magazine.
'Gold Trading' Exposed: Special Investigation ©2009
• Part I
• Part II
• Part III
• Part IV
It's worth up to $10 billion and used by 30% of all gamers – yet denied in public by most players and now even banned by a national government. In a four-part weekly feature series for Eurogamer, which was picked up across the Internet, Nick Ryan reports on the current state of the thriving grey market of "gold selling" in online worlds, which supports an industry of over 1 million in China alone.
'Private Play' ©2009
Thousands of gamers play on illegally-hosted servers, as Nick Ryan discovers for this special BBC investigation. BBC News.
'My Virtual Family' ©2009
Online game worlds – or MMOs – are helping families and loved ones stay in touch, as Nick Ryan reveals in this BBC special report.
'Paradise Awakes' ©2009
While package tourists head to better-known Jamaica or Antigua, and luxury yachters sail down to the British Virgin Islands, the seasoned Caribbean traveller chooses a very different – and far more "real" – island getaway, just emerging from its troubled past. South China Morning Post.
'Has the volume of Spam fallen because of the recession?' ©2009
In November 2008, the volume of spam being sent dropped by as much as two-thirds following the closure of a hosting provider based in California. Report for The Guardian newspaper.
'Seoul Sister' ©2009
It was three months which stretched into a lifetime for Jennifer Barclay. Nick Ryan interviews the author of the first travel biography to tackle South Korea in over 20 years. South China Morning Post (Hong Kong).
'King of Culture' ©2008
Iain Banks is one of the most prolific and successful British authors, writing both mainstream and science-fiction bestsellers. Nick Ryan meets him. A Daily Express and South China Morning Post special.
48 Hours in Paris
The City of Light, it is called, La Ville-lumière. The most popular tourist destination in the world. A place of lovers and painters, intellectuals and bohemians, and some of the finest shopping anywhere in Europe. A gourmand’s delight, its cobbled streets have rang to rebellion and protest, yet take on a magical air come the fall of dusk. Take a weekend break to Paris to reveal its secrets, both ancient and modern. Royal Wings (2008) plus Channer's magazine 2010.
'The Green Hills of San Francisco' ©2008
San Francisco is leading the way for a new generation of green cities, writes Nick Ryan for Royal Wings magazine.
'The Wild West' ©2008
What lies behind London's theatreland? Behind the tacky neon strip joints and uber-cool bars of Soho? Or the swanky hotels and penthouses lining Park Lane and Mayfair? Is Fitzrovia the new NoHo and who was the King of Quacks who once worked in Marylebone's Harley Street?
From The Australian.
'Uncle Sam's Few' ©2008
Whilst the story of the Battle of Britain “few” is well-known, less publicised is the tale of the American volunteers who braved hardship and death to fight with the RAF, as Nick Ryan explains in this Express feature.
'Satan At His Best' ©2007
Auschwitz – It was the most infamous of the Nazi death camps, but it also held over 1,000 British prisoners of war whose incredible acts of bravery and sabotage hampered the German war effort and helped Jewish inmates. Featured in The Express and Shortlist magazine.
'Gorgeous or Grotesque?' ©2007
Controversial politician George Galloway has garnered respect and loathing in equal measure for his outspoken stance on the war in Iraq and scathing criticism of Tony Blair. He tells Nick Ryan about his far-from private life for Arena magazine.
'Street battles, Bush baiting and bendy buses' ©2007
A controversial cheap oil deal for London’s buses has propelled Venezuela’s strongman leader, Hugo Chavez, into the limelight once more, says Nick Ryan writing for Shortlist magazine.
'For King and Country' ©2007
With each passing year fewer are left to remember. Those that remain clutch service papers and black and white photos that show the brave young men they once were.
Part of the Hope Not Hate season for The Daily Mirror newspaper.
'Deadly Nile Bug' ©2006
Many died trying, but the first complete descent of this great river was not until 2004, undertaken by the amazing modern-day adventurer, Pasquale Scaturro. The Weekend Australian.
'In the Shadow of the City' ©2006
In just over five years' time the London Olympics will officially celebrate the multicultural face of Britain. But in the shadows of the proposed new stadium, two popular movements with radically different views on immigration are rapidly taking hold. Nick Ryan meets the people and the politicians of the BNP and the Respect party, and wonders how long it will be before the area is torn in two.
Major story for The Observer Magazine.
'The Devil Drives' ©2000/6
For years he remained a mysterious figure, alluded to in the novel The English Patient simply as "older brother". Yet with a new literary prize, knighthood, and the unveiling of a major philanthropic foundation, millionaire writer and explorer Sir Christopher Ondaatje is now stepping firmly into the limelight.
Sold to Salon.com, The Scotsman, Geographical and others.
'Hammering The Rock' ©2005
One of the most feared gangs in American history faces the ultimate showdown with the authorities – but will it be enough to smash 'The Rock'? Report by Nick Ryan for Maxim.
'Children of the Abyss' ©2005
++Longlisted for the Paul Foot Award++
The old East End of London is disappearing, its gangsters and villains consigned to memory. But has the world that spawned the Kray twins changed so much? Nick Ryan ventures into the bandlands of Banglatown for The Telegraph Magazine.
'Bombs in Banglatown' ©2005
In the wake of the '7/7' London bombings many Muslims from the East End helped the victims, appalled at the damage to innocent lives. The Walrus magazine.
'Baghdad Business School' ©2005
He was on the first civilian plane into Iraq, with just a few pieces of equipment and an envelope full of cash. Yet just a year later the author of Baghdad Business School had braved the guns and bombs to create a thriving international business, as he tells Nick Ryan for The Big Issue.
'Identity Crisis' ©2005
The death of a prominent Christian Identity campaigner brings home memories of his bizarre encounters with Identity's twisted fundamentalists, recalls Nick Ryan.
'From Bagels to Mosques, This is The Real Brick Lane' ©2004
With the branding of the novel Brick Lane as "despicable" by Bangladeshis nationwide, author Nick Ryan ventures into the heart of the East End to uncover the true face of 'Banglatown' and its people. Or read this double-page special spread online at The Independent.
'The Wrong Side of the Tracks' ©2004
A biting wind scours the raked fields of Flanders. The landscape, once scene of bitter trench warfare, is wide and flat. On the horizon the spires and domes of an ancient metropolis pull near and a very different battle raging in the heart of the European Union. Covered for Walrus magazine in Canada.
'Blowing the SAS's Cover Up' ©2004
They were the lucky ones. The five survivors of an SAS patrol-gone-wrong became living legends, their tale of daring do and heroism etched forever in military and public myth. But as one soldier fights to get his story published, were we told the whole truth? Mike Coburn tells Nick Ryan in The Irish Times why the British government wants to keep him quiet.
'Global Village Rebel' ©2004
Author Hari Kunzru stunned the literary world with his debut novel, The Impressionist. Not to mention his £1.25m deal. Can he sustain the hype the second time around?
For The Globe & Mail, Weekend Australian and The Scotsman.
'Extreme Measures' ©2004
Many thought the Ku Klux Klan consigned to memory. But is it on the rise once more? Scotland On Sunday.
'Fierce Commedy with Mark Thomas' ©2001
We met on the streets of Whitehall, central London, during the now infamous riots against capitalism earlier this year. Short and stocky, he sat on a bicycle, chatting nonchalantly to two anarchists as the police lines bore down upon us. With characteristic composure, he featured a quick glance behind him, then cycled off at a leisurely pace. Geographical.
'The Running Man' ©2001
Justin Hall and Jason Hosh - the Running Man duo - are on a mission, to use the latest technology to benefit threatened peoples the world over, writes Nick Ryan. For Geographical and The Guardian.
'To Whom It May Concern' ©2001
The 25th anniversary of the Vietnam war passed earlier this year, yet few in Britain know that young British men also fought in the conflict. They still suffer with their memories today. Commissioned by The Mail On Sunday.
'The Gospel of the Web' ©2000
Nick Ryan on the holy wars fought in cyberspace between religious movements and their critics.
For The Guardian newspaper.
'New World War' ©2000
The raids began the night he went to prison. Over 100 men moved in a synchronized operation as he slept. First came Switzerland; then the Channel Islands; after that Barbados; the Caribbean; and finally Canada. Nick Ryan joins the global fraud busters taking down major-league con men. Commissioned by The New York Times Magazine, Boston Globe Magazine, The Irish Times, The Scotsman, The Weekend Australian Magazine and others.
'Heroine of Empire' ©2000
From a tiny office, packed at the top of a cramped building off London's Portobello Road, the story of one of our greatest female explorers is being prepared.
'A White Man's Obsession' ©2000
As a child, he had read the stories of a lost expedition and the "jungle hell" which had swallowed up the white man. Even decades after it had happened, the newspapers were full of sightings and testimonies, of how the explorer had followed his 'crazy' dream of a hidden Atlantis into the heart of the Amazon and simply disappeared.
'Hate On The Net' ©1999
The tragic and horrifying events that unfolded on April 20 this year, in Littleton, Colorado – the coldblooded murder of 12 Columbine High School students and a teacher by two fellow students, who subsequently killed themselves – generated both revulsion and soul-searching among millions of Americans. For The Guardian, cover piece of G2.
The siege of Waco; nerve gas attacks on the Tokyo subway; mass suicide as a comet passes in the night sky think of the word cult and these images could well spring to mind. Internet Magazine and The Guardian.
'Green And Unpleasant Land' ©1999
Nick Ryan witnessed the rise of the far-right British National Party (BNP), and its controversial leader – and now MEP – Nick Griffin long before most of the mainstream media. The Independent and The Times Magazine.
'In the Frontline' ©1999
As aid agencies work frantically to repatriate 460,000 refugees from Albania alone, Nick Ryan reflects on the June day he spent on the Kosovan border as the refugees flooded out of their homeland. He discovered a scene that was as emotional as it was lawless. Geographical and .Net magazine.
'Memoirs of a Streetfighting Man'
++IFJ Special Commendation Award++ ©1998
The gear is casual, but the faces are hard, sullen, full of mistrust. Angry-looking tattoos poke out from under smart shirt sleeves. Mobile phones lie in a neat row, next to bottles of Bud and pints of Guinness. The talk, in a melting pot of accents from across Londons council estates, is of football firms, lads and jobs [robberies]. Nick Ryan delves deep into the world of Combat 18, in this award-winning reportage. A major exclusive for The Independent On Sunday Review magazine.
'A Forgotten War' ©1998
The Saharawis of North Africa are caught in a desert war with Morocco. While their guerillas face Moroccan troops across a spectacularly fortified great wall, Saharawi women are running hospitals, schools and desert market gardens. Nick Ryan reports from a settlement in the Liberated Zone in the Western Sahara. For Geographical and Mother Jones magazine.
'Truth Under Siege' ©1998
For journalists in war-torn Algeria, assassination isn't just another story it's a job hazard. A rare look inside an independent press struggling under a death sentence. An exclusive for Mother Jones magazine and The New York Times Magazine in the USA.
'Masters of Kung Fu' ©1998
The old, tanned face is inscrutable, as the tall, stooped figure steps from between the ranks of waiting students. He sucks in the cold mountain air and calmly adjusts the silk shirt, stitched for him by his wife and which clashes incongruously with his old pair of trainers. Oblivious to both this and the crowd, he calmly stubs out a cigarette and launches himself into the Calling Crane. For The Scotsman Weekend.
'Television Nation' ©1997
Police raids and punishment beatings can't stop MED-TV providing Kurdistan with a satellite channel to call its own. The amazing tale of the Kurdish TV station known as "Terrorist TV". For WIRED magazine.
'Dangerous Days' ©1997
The young woman pulls slowly on a cheap cigarette, obscuring her narrow, determined features in a dense cloud of smoke. Her slim, nail-bitten fingers tap absentmindedly on the tape recorder, ignoring the roar of the troop helicopters passing overhead. Kurdistan offers a hard choice between life and death.
The Scotsman Weekend and others.
'The Disappeared' ©1997
Abdurressak Ipek has lived a long life. A tall, weather-beaten shepherd with a hook nose and tobacco-stained beard, he doesn't even know his exact age somewhere around 70 or 75 and unlike most modern Kurds, he doesn't speak Turkish or the main Kurdish dialect. Yet he remembers the day that the army entered his village, Tirali in the Lice region, on 18 May 1994.
The Scotsman Weekend and others.
'Wave of Terror' ©1997
They use speed boats, automatic weapons and satellite technology to create a wave of terror on the high seas. The pirates of the Nineties are far deadlier than the heroes of the past. Discover the modern day pirates who rule the high seas. Sunday Express, Scotsman and others.
'Bad Boyz' ©1996
A shaven-headed burglar and self-confessed ram raider. An anaemic 14-year-old born to smackheads, praying to a willow called the 'Death Tree'. The gypsy child, destroying a bedroom in front of my eyes, playing out the memory of the beatings and bestiality visited upon him by his father. Don't Tell It Magazine and GQ.
'Queens of the Cosmic Timewarp' ©1994
There is a room, reached at the top of a winding set of stairs, at the back of the King's Arms in Soho...The unlikely story of the gay Dr Who fans. For The Independent.
'The Legend of Greg' ©1994
In the world of roleplaying games, Runequest creator Greg Stafford is 'The Man'. The Sunday Express magazine.
'King Arthur' ©1994
A terraced house on a large estate, south east England, February: Green, spreading ink encircles the powerful forearm. Coarse black hairs poke through the tightly patterned lace of tattoos, a sleeve of foreign lands, former girlfriends, Mum, Dad and Hells Angels. Commissioned for The Sunday Post.
'Convoy of Hope' ©1994
Frosty air and dark ice surround a shell-pocked school. The children sometimes dig bullets from the flaking plaster of the walls. Glazed Christmas trees dot the hillsides nearby Nick Ryan voyages into the heart of the former Yugoslavia. The Sunday Post, exclusive centre-spread.
'The Bashful Broker' ©1994
Nick Ryan catches a glimpse of Bill Brown, a Lloyd's legend, at his lunch. The Independent Magazine.
Forecasting: 'They have seen the future - and it works for them' ©1994
Big business harnesses an art honed on the game boards of the Cold War: Futurology.
'The Irish Matchmaker' ©1993
For 27 years Daly has been matching couples. Twenty seven years on a 63 acre farm, living with his wife, seven children and 30 head of cattle, surrounded on all sides by the bachelor farmers of County Clare. For The Sunday Post Magazine.
'Irish Pubs of Paris' ©1992
My first ever cover feature! This one was a joy to research: I was living in Paris at the time and had great fun traipsing around the city, finding the city's many Irish bars. Ah, the memories ... (see below)