John Pilger, an Australian-born journalist and filmmaker best known for covering Cambodia, dies at 84


LONDON (AP) — John Pilger, an Australian-born journalist and documentary filmmaker best known for his coverage of the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia, has died, his family said Sunday. He was 84 years old.

A statement from his family posted on X (formerly Twitter) said Pilger died in London on Saturday.

"His journalism and documentaries were appreciated around the world, but to his family he was the most wonderful and loving father, grandfather and companion," the statement said.

Pilger, who has lived in Britain since 1962, worked for Britain's left-leaning Daily Mirror newspaper, broadcaster ITV's investigative program "World in Action" and the Reuters news agency.

He won an International Academy of Television Arts and Sciences award for his 1979 film "Year Zero: The Silent Death of Cambodia", which revealed the extent of the Khmer Rouge's atrocities. He then made a documentary in 1990 titled "Cambodia: The Betrayal", which examined international complicity in the continued threat of the Khmer Rouge.

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He also won praise for a documentary in 1974 that discussed a campaign for compensation for children after concerns were raised about birth defects when pregnant mothers took the drug thalidomide.

Pilger was known for his opposition to American and British foreign policy, and was also highly critical of Australia's treatment of its native population.

In recent years, he campaigned for the release of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who has long fought against extradition to the United States.

Kevin Lygo, managing director of media and entertainment at ITV, described Pilger as a "veteran of campaign journalism" who provided viewers with a level of analysis and opinion that was rare in mainstream television.

Ligo said, "He had a clear, distinctive editorial voice which he used to great effect throughout his distinguished filmmaking career. His documentaries were engaging, challenging and always worth watching."

"He eschewed facile consensus and instead offered a radical, alternative perspective on contemporary affairs and a platform for dissenting voices for more than 50 years," he said.

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