Eric Ellis has been a staff foreign correspondent for Time, the Australian Financial Review, the Sydney Morning Herald and Melbourne Age. He has written for Fortune, Euromoney, Forbes and the Financial Times, The Times, The Bulletin/Newsweek, The Spectator, El Mundo, CNN, Reuters, Institutional Investor and the International Herald Tribune.
Though primarily focussed on East and S-E Asia, he has also reported extensively from Egypt, Iran and Afghanistan, the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami from Sri Lanka and that country’s civil war and the 2010 Thai crisis. His extended coverage of the terror bombings in Bali over 2002-03 which won him the 2003 Walkley Award for Excellence in Journalism. He was a finalist for the 2006 Walkley Award for an investigative series from Poland and was also a finalist in the 1993 Walkley Awards for his reporting from China. In 2005 was short-listed for the 2005 British Business Journalist of the Year Awards for reporting from Afghanistan, where he has tracked its post 9-11 development. He was a finalist in the 2005 South Asian Journalists Association of North America awards for his reporting of the Sri Lankan tsunami for Fortune. In May 2007, an extensive profile he prepared of the businesswoman Wendi Deng attracted international media attention.
Since 2010, he has reported extensively across Europe from bases in Amsterdam and southern Spain.
In February 2008, he served as an official observer of the Pakistan general elections.
He has interviewed 17 presidents, prime ministers and heads of state; Karzai of Afghanistan, Yudhoyono of Indonesia, Ponta of Romania, Chandrika and Rajapakse of Sri Lanka, Musharraf and Aziz of Pakistan, Ramos of The Philippines, Malaysia’s Mahathir and Badawi, Singapore’s Goh and Lee, HK Governor Patten, Frei of Chile, Alkatiri and Ramos-Horta of East Timor and Abhisit and Chuan of Thailand. He has also interviewed numerous finance ministers and central bank governors.
From 2001-2008, he served as S-E Asia Correspondent for Fortune Magazine, and Asia Correspondent for The Bulletin, from Singapore and Jakarta.
In 1999, he was appointed the regional correspondent of Time Magazine, based in Singapore, and covering regional economic and political topics, notably the emergence of the Internet in Asia, and of independence in East Timor.
In 1996, he was posted to the United States as correspondent with Australia’s influential daily newspaper – the Australian Financial Review (AFR) – based in Los Angeles and San Francisco – covering Corporate Hollywood, U.S politics and society, the emergence of the Internet and information technology, and the transformation of the U.S economy, and the resultant economic bubble.
In 1993, he was posted to Hong Kong as the AFR’S Asia correspondent, covering regional business, economic and political affairs with emphasis on China. He made a rare visit to North Korea after the 1994 death of Kim Il Sung; tracked Asia’s overseas Chinese community; Cambodia’s embrace of democracy, and Vietnam’s and Mongolia’s of capitalism; the karaoke phenomenon; and Asia’s unusual passion for golf, and weapons.
From 1990-93, he was a correspondent in the Sydney Morning Herald’s European bureau in London, with assignments as diverse as the emergence of democracy and the market economies of Eastern Europe, Spain’s 1992 “Year of Wonders” and a profile of Private Eye magazine. Notable exclusives during this time included being the first journalist to locate the fraudster Christopher Skase in Mallorca; a rare interview with Sydney Opera House designer Jorn Utzon, and with the French photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson, and meeting bombers of the Basque separatist group ETA.
From 1986-89, he was the SMH correspondent in Hong Kong from 1986, covering corporate and political affairs in Hong Kong and China, including the 1989 Tiananmen Square pro-democracy demonstrations in Beijing, and the 1988 conviction on corruption charges of HK stock exchange chairman Ronald Li.
He has visited more than 60 countries, reporting from 40. He has studied Mandarin, Spanish and Russian, albeit all imperfectly.