|Birth||27 December 1953, Medicine Hat|
Arthur Kent (born December 27, 1953) is a Canadian television journalist and author. He rose to international prominence during the 1991 Persian Gulf War during which he acquired the nickname “The Scud Stud”. He is the brother of Canada’s former Minister of the Environment Peter Kent.
LIFE AND CAREER
Kent was born in Medicine Hat, Alberta. His father, Arthur Parker Kent (now deceased), worked for Southam Newspaper Group and retired as associate editor of the Calgary Herald. After his father’s retirement, Arthur Kent began his journalism career at the Calgary Herald in the summer of 1973.
Kent graduated from Carleton University in Ottawa in 1975 while working as a general assignment reporter for CJOH-News, the Ottawa affiliate of the CTV network. In 1977, after moving to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Kent was named Alberta correspondent for The National, CBC’s principal TV newscast. Three years later, Kent left CBC to become an independent reporter and photographer, eventually filing jointly to NBC News, CBC and London’s Observer newspaper.
In 1989 Kent joined NBC News as the network’s Rome Correspondent. Kent won Emmy Awards for his part in NBC’s coverage of the June 4, 1989 Tienanman Square Massacre and the December, 1989 Romanian Revolution.
After a contract dispute with NBC, he was fired in August 1992. He subsequently sued NBC for breach of contract, fraud, and defamation, a case that was settled in March 1994.
Under the terms of the agreement, NBC paid Kent a large settlement and retracted prior statements about Kent and the dispute. Kent also won the right to publish testimony and evidence from the discovery phase of the suit in his book, Risk and Redemption: Surviving the Network News Wars.
He subsequently returned to Canada to host CBC Television’s Man Alive. With the settlement from NBC, he established his own film company, Fast Forward Films, in the UK.
Kent has worked for the BBC, The Observer and Maclean’s. He has hosted many History Channel shows including History Undercover and History’s Mysteries. Afghanistan: Captives of the Warlords was shot secretly using a hidden camera, which shows life in Afghanistan under the repressive Taliban, contrasted with life under the much more lenient Northern Alliance. First broadcast by PBS in June 2001, an updated version received extensive broadcast on PBS affiliates and on CBC following the September 11 attacks. It received the Gold WorldMedal at the New York festivals, and a Golden Eagle award from CINE.
In 2007 Kent launched skyreporter.com, an outlet for new & archived documentaries and short films. Composed of 1-2 minute pieces from Afghanistan, London, Bosnia, Iraq, and other places, Sky Reporter features Kent’s independent reportage and commentary direct from the field. In November 2007, Kent was chosen by local party members as the Progressive Conservative candidate for the Alberta provincial riding of Calgary Currie. During the 2008 election, newspapers including the National Post and Calgary Herald published an article written by Don Martin about Kent and his campaign that was ruled defamatory by Alberta’s Court of Queen’s Bench in a June, 2016 trial judgment. Canada’s largest newspaper chain, Postmedia Network Inc., was found liable for defamation after Postmedia published the Martin article on its websites until November of 2012. Kent won $200,000 in damages.
He lost the March 3, 2008 election to incumbent Dave Taylor.
In 2008, Kent sued the producers and distributors of the film Charlie Wilson’s War claiming that the movie used material Kent produced in the 1980s without permission. On September 19, 2008, Kent announced he had reached a settlement with whose terms he was “very pleased;” the terms of the settlement remain confidential.
Kent is a member of various media agencies, including:
- International Federation of Journalists
- Britain’s National Union of Journalists
- PEN Canada
- The Writers’ Union of Canada
- former board member, Military Reporters and Editors of America
- co-founder of TVNewscan, a project of The George Washington University School of Media and Public Affairs