Starting next week, Isabella Kwai will be joining the Express team in London as a general assignment and breaking news reporter, and we couldn’t be more thrilled.
Isabella will be working with Erin McCann and her nimble crew on stories of high audience interest, including social media trends, international spot news, overnight news from the United States, live coverage of extreme weather and other major stories, issues explainers and much more.
Isabella is no stranger to our breaking/trending news team, having embedded with us in New York several years ago and done similar work for the International desk. She has been with The Times for six years in a variety of roles, reporting from Australia, Hong Kong and most recently from Europe, where she has written on geopolitics, business and culture.
“From Sydney to London, Bella has shown amazing versatility, with the ability to gear up quickly when the news demands,” Adrienne Carter said. “She also brings a nice verve and lyrical sense when the story suits. And lucky for all of us, she is staying in the London newsroom family.”
Isabella did not originally plan on being a journalist. “I dropped out of law school (sorry, parents) in favor of adventure abroad,” she said, “studying public policy and English literature at Duke University.” That led to time as a fellow at The Atlantic in Washington, where she says she learned to pitch stories by ambushing her editors in the lunchroom. In 2017 she returned home to Australia to join the new Sydney bureau.
“I was lucky enough to travel around the region to rediscover my home country,” she writes. “I wrote about the first legal gay marriages, devastating wildfires driven by climate change, and the offshore detention of asylum seekers and their children. I saw the horrifying aftermath of vaccination gaps firsthand when I went to Samoa to speak to grieving parents after a deadly measles outbreak.”
She added: “What I’m most interested in is writing about people’s obsessions, big and small — and what they reveal about a place and its identity. I covered lonely young people in rural Australia finding connection at a wild country party, a town’s existential dispute over a gigantic lobster sculpture and a grassroots Facebook group that became a global hub for the East Asian diaspora.”
In London, Isabella has covered news around climate change, disasters and many prime minister changeovers. Among the highlights: surfing with girls in Britain, hanging out with accused Russian spies under house arrest in Albania, exploring a gun violence epidemic in Sweden, shadowing Britons in a three-mile line to view Queen Elizabeth’s coffin, and sitting in the High Court to untangle “Wagatha Christie,” the infamous Instagram feud case.
Please join me in welcoming Isabella to the team.
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