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Posts Tagged ‘Arwa Damon’

On Cable News, Covering Syria From Afar (Mostly)

There continues to be a massive civil war in Syria, but thanks in part to a government crackdown on foreign journalists, coverage on cable news tends to be from afar.

As the situation continues to deteriorate, news organizations will have to weigh the pros and cons of trying to sneak producers or correspondents into the country. A number of journalists have been killed in the country, so sneaking in is not a matter to be taken lightly.

Cable news is dominated by politics, but as 2011 showed, revolutions make for extremely compelling TV.

CNN is the only cable news channel to have a correspondent in the country right now, and it has far more coverage than either Fox News or MSNBC, according to TVEyes. CNN correspondent Arwa Damon snuck into the country, and has been reporting for CNN both in daytime and primetime. According to TVEyes, CNN had at least one segment on Syria (often two or three) every hour from 1PM-11PM yesterday.

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The Death of the Foreign Correspondent? Not So Much

A year ago today we wrote about one of those annual “predictions” stories. It was from Mashable’s Vadim Lavrusik who had a host of predictions for the news media in 2011. This was No. 6:

6. The Death of the ‘Foreign Correspondent’

Lavrusik, who is also an adjunct professor at Columbia University’s journalism school, argued that news organizations would rely “heavily on stringers and, in many cases, social content uploaded by the citizenry.”

How right he was… and wasn’t.

While much of the video from the Arab Spring and Japanese earthquake & tsunami — two of the biggest stories on the planet this year — was user generated: captured on smartphones, uploaded to video sites and shared around the world on social networks, it took the network correspondents to put into perspective what we were seeing, to interview some of those captured on video (or who captured the video), and put into greater context what it all means. That’s really their job. So that at the end of a 1-minute 45-second package or 2-minute live shot, we all have a better understanding of the story.

This year, the networks did not rely “heavily on stringers,” the news was simply too broad and complex and the competition too great. No network wants to be left out.

So they dug deep into their pockets and sent in correspondents and anchors to report what was happening. Brian Williams, Diane Sawyer, Anderson Cooper, Scott Pelley, even Barbara Walters have all traveled the globe this year for their networks. ABC’s Christiane Amanpour racked up more stamps on her passport and NBC’s Richard Engel and CBS’s Lara Logan — who

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Cable Nets Go Live as Final U.S. Convoy Leaves Iraq

At 11:28pmET, U.S. cable news networks broke into coverage as the final U.S. combat troops crossed from Iraq into Kuwait, creating a lasting image for the end to the 8-and-a-half-year war, which was officially declared over on Thursday. CNN/U.S. and CNNI simulcast coverage with Hala Gorani and Don Lemon co-anchoring. Michael Holmes reported from Kuwait, Arwa Damon from Baghdad and Martin Savidge, who traveled the 5-and-a-half hours with the American convoy, reported by phone (and later, around 12:27amET, via livestream from inside an MRAP vehicle) after crossing into Kuwait. CNN/U.S. stayed live until MidnightET (CNNI until 12:30amET) and included interviews with soldiers at Camp Virginia, Kuwait.

On Fox News Geraldo Rivera and Greg Palkot reported live from Kuwait, with the final MRAP truck crossing over at 11:38pmET / 7:38am along the Kuwait/Iraq border. “I have tears in my eyes, so emotional,” said Rivera, who is on his 11th trip to the region. Fox News wrapped coverage at 11:46pm.

MSNBC produced a 4-minute special report with Richard Engel live in Kuwait. Engel too, traveled with the U.S. convoy. “So much has transpired when they crossed this berm in 2003 going North,” said Engel. “They were on their way to topple a dictator. Now they are crossing this berm again. The dictator has been toppled and the troops are going home.”

CNN Staffers Reflect on Covering Iraq

CNN is asking six of its staffers to reflect on covering the wars in Iraq. Both the 1991 Gulf War and “Operation Iraqi Freedom” of the aughts are represented.

Correspondent Arwa Damon, former CNN President Tom Johnson, Producer Yousuf Basil, Producer Ingrid Formanek, Reporter Nic Robertson, and Cameraman Sarmad Qaseera are the staffers that reflect on their time covering the country.

You can see what they have to say in “Wars in Iraq: What I Remember” here.

Rare Get-together for CNN’s Foreign Correspondents as They Reflect on 2011

CNN’s Anderson Cooper hosts a year end special with CNN’s foreign correspondents, including (l-r) Ben Wedeman, Arwa Damon and Nic Robertson

It’s a good thing today was a relatively quite international news day because most of CNN’s foreign correspondents were gathered in New York talking about about the incredible year that was. From the Arab Spring to the triple tragedy in Japan, reporters Nic Robertson, Ben Wedeman, Arwa Damon, Hala Gorani, Matthew Chance, Sara Sidner, Kyung Lah and Ivan Watson crowded into Piers Morgan‘s studio at Time Warner Center where Anderson Cooper, who’s also reported from many of the world’s hotspots this year, lead the discussion.

CNN International EVP Tony Maddox tells TVNewser the get-together, which happens once every few years, “was the greatest gathering of foreign journalists on the planet.”

Before the taping we asked Robertson what is his most remarkable moment of this remarkable year. Robertson, who started as an engineer with CNN in 1990, says it was the uprising in Bahrain in February. “We were approaching Pearl Square and all hell was breaking loose.” Robertson used his iPhone to report live on CNN. Later, as he was rushed out of the area, he used the phone to record more video and his audio for a package that was edited in Atlanta. “That’s a far cry from 36 boxes of equipment we used to use,” added CNN EVP Ken Jautz

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As News Prepares to Break In Yemen, Only CNN, Al Jazeera English Have Correspondents In-Country

Sometime in the next 48 hours, the embattled president of Yemen will make his first public appearance since being wounded by shrapnel when his compound was attacked. Elsewhere in the region, Syria continues to face daily demonstrations and demands for reform from citizens.

2011 has seen an enormous amount of change in the Middle East and North Africa, including protests that led to the resignation of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.

As the world watches, only two cable news channels are in-country to cover the news, CNN and Al Jazeera English.

CNN, which has a much larger international presence than its cable news competitors, now has two reporters in Yemen in Nic Robertson and Mohammed Jamjoom, both in the capital city of Sanaa.

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Network plans for Obama remarks on Libya

Here’s what the cable networks are planning for coverage of Pres. Obama’s address on Libya tonight at 7:30pmET from the National Defense University.

  • Bloomberg’s executive editor Al Hunt and Julianna Goldman anchor coverage from Bloomberg TV’s Washington bureau.
  • CNBC’s Larry Kudlow anchors coverage during “The Kudlow Report.”
  • Fox Business Network’s Neil Cavuto anchors “FOX Business Special Report: Target Libya. A Presidential Address” beginning at 7:30pm.
  • MSNBC’s Chuck Todd is in for Chris Matthews and will anchor coverage during “Hardball.” Primetime is as normal with the network adding a live special at 11pmET on the situation in Middle East and North Africa which will include NBC’s Richard Engel reporting from Libya.

Broadcast network plans can be found here.

With Obama in Brazil, Clinton in France, and news from Libya, no slow Saturday for News Nets

New developments in Libya this morning, with the French military taking action, are keeping the U.S. cable news channels active.

Beginning at 11amET, CNN and CNNI began another simulcast of coverage with anchors T.J. Holmes of CNN and John Vause of CNNI covering the news. Correspondents Nic Robertson and Arwa Damon are in Libya, Ed Henry is in Brazil and Jim Bitterman and Jill Dougherty are in Paris.

Fox News Channel’s Neil Cavuto was already in for a live Saturday morning show on the economic recovery efforts following the earthquake/tsunami in Japan. He kept cameras trained on both Brasil — where President Obama was about to speak alongside Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff and on Paris, where Secy. of State Hillary Clinton was preparing to speak after meetings on the NATO action in Libya. Rick Leventhal and Steve Harrigan are in Libya (spooked by anti-aircraft fire during one live report today. Video after the jump.)

MSNBC went into the NoonET hour with anchor Richard Lui, as Pres. Obama was appearing with Pres. Rousseff. Correspondent Mike Viquiera is in Paris, Chuck Todd is in Brazil and Jim Maceda is in Libya for NBC/MSNBC.

None of the networks had a Brazilian interpreter during Pres. Rousseff’s lengthy opening statement. And just as the president was about to speak, all three networks lost the signal from Brasilia. It returned after about 3 minutes.

Cavuto stayed live until 12:17pm telling the audience, “We just wanted to keep you abreast not only of developments in the political world but certainly in the business world. We hope we served bot those audiences today and we appreciate our normal ‘Cost of Freedom’ audience being patient as we attempted both.”

> Update, 12:26pm: Cable networks began carrying Secy. Clinton comments from Paris.

> Update, 2:18pm: ABC’s Diane Sawyer is coming in to anchor “World News.” Regular weekend anchor David Muir will report, as will Christiane Amanpour, Martha Raddatz, Jake Tapper, and Alex Marquardt, in Libya.

> Update, 3:39pm: Sawyer also anchored a special report (right) on the news of U.S. military involvement.

> More: CBS’s Russ Mitchell has anchored three special reports today at NoonET, 2:36pm, and 3:59pm during CBS coverage of the NCAA tournament.

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Pres. Obama’s Oval Office Address: News Notes

President Obama’s second Oval Office address was carried on the four broadcast networks as well as the cable news networks tonight.

On NBC, Brian Williams anchored. On ABC Diane Sawyer and George Stephanopoulos shared the set. Harry Smith anchored on CBS and Shepard Smith on FOX.

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Following the address, FOX and CBS were first out, followed less than 30 seconds later by ABC and finally NBC. Williams had NBC News correspondent Richard Engel on set for a debrief. Engel reported live last week as the final combat convoy left Iraq.

Click continued for cable news notes…

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Cable News Notes: Covering the Final Combat Brigade as it Leaves Iraq

Engel_8.19.jpg• MSNBC remained in rolling coverage all night of the final U.S. military convoy as it made its way out of Iraq and in to Kuwait. For much of the night it was a tri-anchor situation with Keith Olbermann in New York, Chris Matthews in Boston and Rachel Maddow in Baghdad. Incoming primetime anchor Lawrence O’Donnell shared the New York set with Olbermann. The network had, in Olbermann’s words, “a world exclusive” with NBC News chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel and his cameraman Craig White, live, embedded with the final convoy to leave Iraq. White was David Bloom‘s cameraman in April, 2003, when the NBC News anchor died during the U.S.-led invasion. Seven years later, Engel and White used the so-called Bloom mobile to report the final troop departure.

Said Maddow at the top of the 9pmET hour, “The reason no one else in all of TV and all the world is able to bring you the image that we’ve been able to broadcast … and no one else can show you footage like this is because NBC has technology to do this like no one else has.”

This was the Bloom mobile’s first trip to Iraq since the 2003 invasion. It’s been used in the U.S. for everything from hurricane coverage to following political candidates. In the 10pmET hour Engel interviewed a sergeant who’d served two tours in Iraq: the first was during the invasion. Iraq “is a lot better place for the people,” said the sergeant from the 1st Infantry division. “I’m glad that we were able to do something good for them and come around and close it out on a good note.”

• On CNN, John King‘s 7pmET show was in and out of coverage of the convoy departing. Coverage accelerated during Rick Sanchez‘s 8pmET hour, slowed down during “Larry King Live” and picked up again during AC360 with John Roberts filling in. The anchors checked in with CNN correspondents Arwa Damon in Mosul and Chris Lawrence at the Pentagon.

• Fox News first mentioned the troop movements during “Special Report” at 6:10pmET, led with the story and reported it extensively during FOX Report at 7pmET. No mention was made during “The O’Reilly Factor” which is pre-taped earlier in the evening. Shepard Smith anchored a live update at 8:12pmET during “The Factor.” Coverage was sporadic during “Hannity” at 9pmET and “On the Record” at 10pmET.

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