CNN senior international correspondent Arwa Damon, in Libya covering the spreading anti-American protests in the Middle East, reported on her visit to the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi this afternoon. “The buildings have been completely gutted, many of them burned, the walls scorched black, debris all over the floor,” she described. Watch:
Posts Tagged ‘Arwa Damon’
Two of CNN’s foreign correspondents are getting a promotion.
Arwa Damon (far right) and Sara Sidner (far left) have both been promoted to Senior International Correspondent. In addition, Sidner moves from CNN New Delhi, where she’s been based since joining CNN in 2007, to CNN Jerusalem.
Damon has been reporting on the Arab Spring for the last couple of years from Syria, Libya, Egypt and Lebanon, where she’s based. Sidner also reported extensively from Libya — and had this harrowing experience covering the fall of Gadhafi. She also reported on the Mumbai terrorist attacks, as they happened in 2008.
TVNewser was at CNN HQ in December when many of CNN’s foreign correspondents, including Sidner and Damon, gathered to tape a special reflecting on the year in foreign coverage.
Sunday at 8 PM, CNN will run a special on the situation in Syria. Unlike many other specials, this one turns the lens on the reporters covering the conflict. Dubbed “72 Hours Under Fire,” the special chronicles correspondent Arwa Damon‘s last trip into the country, and features interviews with Damon, CNN executive VP Tony Maddox and other staffers and executives.
The goal is to shine a light on how incredibly difficult and dangerous the situation in the country is, and what news organizations are doing to shine alight on the situation there.
“It’s a humanitarian crisis. We might not be able to bring about immediate change to Syria, but the one thing that we absolutely cannot do is walk away from this story – no matter how long it takes,” Damon says.
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.
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
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 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.
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
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.
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.
- CNN will lead into the president’s remarks with John King and lead out with Wolf Blitzer and Anderson Cooper anchoring special coverage along with King, Eliot Spitzer, and Fareed Zakaria, as well as CNN International correspondents Nic Robertson and Arwa Damon up until the 9pm hour when “Piers Morgan Tonight” begins.
- 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.
- Fox News Channel’s Shepard Smith anchors during “FOX Report.” Coverage continues at 8pmET as Bill O’Reilly talks with Brit Hume.
Broadcast network plans can be found here.