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Foreign Correspondence

Freelance Journalist’s Reporting on Downed Plane Draws Kudos From Anderson Cooper

When breaking news situations like the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 happen, networks often depend on eyewitnesses and citizen journalists for initial coverage.

Over the last 24 hours, one of those journalists has been Noah Sneider. Sneider is an American freelance journalist who witnessed the downing of the plane in Ukraine yesterday from a small village near the crash site. He’s described the scene via phone for CNN several times since news broke yesterday morning, calling in and reporting during hours anchored by Anderson Cooper, Don Lemon, Jake Tapper, and Brooke Baldwin.

And one of those anchors took notice, praising Sneider’s reporting this afternoon.

“You wander through these fields and you pretty much have to watch every step because if you don’t you can step on a person’s organs,” Sneider recounted last night while being interviewed by Don Lemon. “It’s like it was raining body parts.”

Another RT Journalist Quits: ‘Every Single Day We’re Lying and Finding Sexier Ways to Do It’

She might not have quit on-air like her former colleague, but London-based RT correspondent Sara Firth made waves this morning announcing her resignation on Twitter.

In additional tweets, she explained why she thinks RT journalists trying to report the truth are stifled.

Read more

Ayman Mohyeldin Witnesses Gaza Airstrike, but Richard Engel Reports for ‘Nightly News’

EngelNBC News foreign correspondent Ayman Mohyeldin and his crew witnessed the Israeli airstrike that killed four children at a Gaza port earlier today. But hours later, it was chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel who reported the story for “Nightly News.”

“Today, sadly our cameras were there when disaster struck,” Brian Williams said at the beginning of tonight’s broadcast. Those cameras came from Mohyeldin’s crew, who witnessed the attack, and called in to the west coast edition of “Today” this morning to report on the “chaotic scene” produced by the airstrike. But it was Engel, reporting from Tel Aviv, who Williams went to for the report. Engel tossed to a package on the airstrike that included footage shot by Mohyeldin’s crew and an interview Ayman did with a wounded boy in the hospital. Almost two hours after “Nightly News,” MSNBC’s “All In with Chris Hayes” went to Mohyeldin on the story in a pre-recorded interview. Tomorrow, a five-hour cease-fire goes into effect at 10am local time to allow humanitarian aid into Gaza.

We’re hearing the decision to have Engel report the story for “Nightly” instead of Mohyeldin angered some NBC News staffers.  NBC News declined to comment to TVNewser on its editorial decision.

Watch the report (first in the full broadcast), after the jump.  Read more

NBC News Crew Witnesses Gaza Airstrike

NBC News correspondent Ayman Mohyeldin and his crew witnessed an Israeli airstrike that killed four children at a port in Gaza earlier today. Mohyeldin, who was also caught in the crossfire as Israeli soldiers fired rubber bullets on crowds in East Jersusalem earlier this month, called in to the west coast edition of “Today” to describe what he saw, saying it was “a chaotic scene.” Watch:

NBC News Crew Caught in Crossfire in East Jerusalem

An NBC News crew, including foreign correspondent Ayman Mohyeldin, was caught in the crossfire as Israeli soldiers fired rubber bullets and stun grenades at Palestinian protestors in East Jerusalem today.

Mohyeldin wrote on Instagram that they shouted “press” at the Israeli soldiers in English, Arabic and Hebrew: “We were trapped behind a car and had rubber bullets and stun grenades fired at us despite being marked as press and shouting to the Israeli soldiers we were press.” In the video, the crew can clearly be heard shouting “journalists, journalists!” Watch:

Al Jazeera’s Tony Harris on ‘Unconscionable’ Imprisonment of Colleagues Who Guided Him

Press Freedom

Al Jazeera executives and anchors, global diplomats, and several members of the media gathered this afternoon at the United Nations for a town hall on press freedom. There were also three chairs left empty (pictured above), symbolically held for Al Jazeera journalists Peter Greste, Baher Mohamed, and Mohamed Fahmy who were found guilty Monday in a courtroom outside Cairo.

“These people were amazing in terms of their knowledge, and their willingness to share what they knew about the region with an American who was coming to the Middle East to learn and report on what was happening,” Al Jazeera America anchor Tony Harris told TVNewser at the event. Harris, a former CNN anchor, met the journalists several years ago when he began anchoring for Al Jazeera English.

“The idea that these guys would be imprisoned right now, essentially fighting for their reputations, fighting for their lives, is just unconscionable to me.”

Egyptian U.N. diplomat Osama Abdelkhalek Mahmoud spoke at the event, but declined to comment on the case, citing Egypt’s constitution. (Egypt’s new president Abdul Fattah al-Sisi has also said he will not interfere in the ruling.) Read more

Lara Logan Back on CBS

Lara Logan made her first appearance on CBS News since her on-air apology in November over a botched “60 Minutes” report on the U.S. Consulate attack in Benghazi in 2012. Later that month, following the results of an internal report, Logan took a leave of absence. A CBS News insider told us last week that Logan has been walking the halls and working the phones and on “Face the Nation,” Sunday she discussed the worsening situation in Iraq. “Perhaps, nobody at CBS News has spent more time in Iraq over the years, since the first Gulf War, than Lara Logan,” said Bob Schieffer in his introduction. WATCH:

Back to Baghdad for TV News Crews

clarissawardForeign network news correspondents continue to make their way into Iraq as terror group ISIS marches toward Baghdad.

ABC’s Terry Moran and NBC’s Richard Engel reported from Erbil for Friday’s evening newscasts, while CBS News had two corespondents in-country, and the only broadcast with a correspondent in Baghdad. Holly Williams is reporting from Erbil while Clarissa Ward is in the Iraqi capital.

“Having covered Iraq for many years during the worst of the sectarian violence, it’s very sad to be back here under such troubling circumstances,” Ward told TVNewser during a break from reporting today. “The Iraqi people are clearly quite terrified of what lies ahead of them and they’ve already suffered so much.” From 2003-2007, Ward was an assignment editor, field producer and later a correspondent for Fox News Channel. In 2007 she joined ABC News as a foreign correspondent before jumping to CBS in 2011.

Ten years in the field has taught Ward that sometimes you have to improvise. Because much of the crew’s gear was confiscated at the airport, the lighting for her live shot on “Evening News” was by way of a flashlight. The low light was also a way to keep a low profile. Ward says the Iraqi capital is on edge at the moment, making the situation perilous for residents and the media.

“Baghdad is an extremely tense and difficult place to operate at the moment and so one has to be extremely cautious.”

News Crews Back to Iraq

Despite Pres. Obama’s pledge to not send U.S. troops into Iraq to quell growing violence there, news networks are beginning to send in additional teams, CNN among them. CNN’s senior international correspondent Arwa Damon, who started her career in Baghdad covering the war in Iraq, has returned to the country as militant group ISIS closes in on Baghdad. She filed this report on the mass exodus from Mosul and surrounding villages:

French Broadcasters Drop Plan to Charge for D-Day +70 Coverage

DDay70French broadcasters have dropped plans to charge international news outlets huge fees for their coverage of ceremonies marking the 70th anniversary of D-Day. As we reported last week, French president François Hollande gave exclusive rights to coverage of events in France to France Televisions and TF1.

The broadcasters then announced they would charge up to $272,000 for other news outlets, like the AP and Reuters, for usage. The broadcasters backed down Wednesday, saying “Because of the exceptional character of the event and at the request of the president’s office, the signal will be available for free.”

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