About Eric

Eric Wishart

Eric Wishart is Standards and Ethics Editor, and former editor-in-chief, of Agence France-Presse.

He lectures in journalism at Hong Kong University and Hong Kong Baptist University, teaching news writing and reporting and international conflict reporting. He is also a member of the professional standards and ethics committee of the Society of Professional Journalists and the Organisation of Ombudsmen and Standards Editors.

His areas of expertise include media ethics, the challenges of misinformation, the erosion of trust in established media, press freedom, and the safety of journalists.

A native of Glasgow, Scotland, in 1999 he became the first non-French editor-in-chief in the history of AFP, the world’s oldest news agency that traces its origins back to 1835.

He is a judge for the Hong Kong News Awards and a former president of the Foreign Correspondents’ Club Hong Kong. He is also a member of PEN America and the Asian American Journalists Association.

As a member of AFP’s global news management, he drew up the AFP Charter setting out the Agency’s guiding principles; its code of ethics, which has been published in English, French, Arabic, Spanish and Chinese; the Agency’s 20 Principles of Sourcing; and carried out a major update of the AFP Stylebook, which he edits.

He has been a regular speaker at international conferences on media ethics, combating “fake news” and disinformation and on how journalists can restore public trust in the media. He has spoken on these topics at events held in a wide range of countries including Japan, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Laos, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Qatar, France, the United States and mainland China, as well as Hong Kong and Macau, and at the European Commission in Brussels.

Wishart began his career in August 1972, studying at journalism school in Edinburgh and obtaining the NCTJ Proficiency Certificate after working as a trainee in several local Scottish newspapers.

He worked in newspapers in Scotland for 12 years, first in the Lennox Herald in Dumbarton and then the Paisley Daily Express. Always a news reporter, he also wrote columns about music and motoring. While covering the 1970s music scene he interviewed more than 150 recording artists including Freddie Mercury, ABBA, Linda Ronstadt, Johnny Cash, Kate Bush, Paul McCartney, Joan Baez, Leonard Cohen, Bob Geldof, the Sex Pistols, Carlos Santana, AC/DC, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Boston and Black Sabbath.

Deciding it was time to develop professionally and enter international journalism, he joined the AFP English desk in Paris in 1984. During his time as a desk editor he also covered NATO meetings in Brussels and the start of the Algerian civil war after the cancellation of elections in January 1991.

His positions at the Agency have included Middle East English desk head (1992-1996), Asia-Pacific editor (1996-1999), global editor-in-chief (1999-2005) and Asia-Pacific director (2005-2012). From 2012 he worked on special editorial projects for the global news management in Paris, and was appointed the agency’s Standards and Ethics Editor in December 2021. 

With joint British and Irish nationalities, he is a Hong Kong permanent resident and  speaks English and French.