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Posts Tagged ‘Gary Locke’

Jim Sciutto On His Return to Reporting: ‘I Think I’m More Fearless, Because I Know More’

With foreign affairs continuing to dominate headlines in September, these are heady days for reporters who thrive on covering global policy matters. Count among them Jim Sciutto, who returned to TV news last week as CNN’s Chief National Security Correspondent.

“Not a bad day to start, in the middle of a debate about military attacks on Syria,” Sciutto tells TVNewser, reflecting on his first day on air for his new employer.

Sciutto stepped away from television for nearly two years. In late 2011, he left longtime home ABC News to work abroad as chief of staff and senior adviser to U.S. Ambassador to China Gary Locke.

Beijing was a good fit, Sciutto says, given his longtime fascination with the country. He majored in Chinese history at Yale, and is proficient in Mandarin.

The job was meaningful as well, he explains, because “I’d long had a dream of doing public service, and I’m glad I did it.”  The diplomatic role, he stresses, is distinct from having worked in a political position or having taken a lucrative government-related consulting gig.

Still, Sciutto’s journalism homecoming prompted a difference-of-opinion debate on Twitter just last night.

“Turns out, it was a waste of US taxpayer $$ to move @jimsciuttoCNN to China to work for Obama. He didn’t stay long & now ‘reports’ for CNN,” tweeted media critic and Fox News contributor Richard Grenell.

Sciutto responded with a tweet of his own, inviting Grenell to “watch my reporting” and that ”my record stands.”

In an interview earlier this week, Sciutto told TVNewser he wouldn’t think twice about tough coverage of the administration’s handling of foreign policy. “I think I’m more fearless because I know more. I got a real education in so many of the national security issues, and foreign policy issues. It makes your questions smarter, and your stories smarter.”

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New Global Hires at ABC News

Mark Greenblatt

ABC News has hired two new correspondents, brought back a third, and upped a fourth for posts around the world.

News president Ben Sherwood has hired Mark Greenblatt as a New York-based correspondent. Greenblatt joins from CBS affiliate KHOU in Houston where he was an investigative reporter. ABC is also bringing back into the fold Gloria Riviera, formerly a London correspondent who will now be based in Beijing. Riviera’s husband, former ABC Newsman Jim Sciutto just started his new job as chief of staff to U.S. Ambassador to China Gary Locke, (whose wife Mona Lee Locke, incidentally, is a former local TV news reporter).

ABC News has also hired Muhammad Lila from the CBC as the new Digital Correspondent for South Asia, based in Islamabad. And Kirit Radia, a one-time ABC News desk assistant who worked his way up to producing at the White House and State Department, has been named ABC’s new Digital Correspondent in Moscow.

Sherwood’s note after the jump…

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Jim Sciutto Packs His Bags for China, and Packs Away News Career, For Now

For ABC’s Jim Scuitto, it came down to two choices: Relocate to Beijing or hang the pictures in his new Georgetown home.

Beijing won.

After a decade in the London bureau as ABC’s senior foreign correspondent, Scuitto had been in Washington less than a year when U.S. Ambassador to China Gary Locke last month asked him to be his chief of staff and senior policy advisor.

“We still have a stack of pictures on the floor, leaning against the wall,” says Scuitto, 41, a 13-year network veteran. “We had gotten our son into a great little preschool and had just settled in.”

Still, the offer was too good for Scuitto to refuse. A Chinese history major at Yale and Fulbright Fellow, he was proficient in Mandarin. Two of his three sisters had worked in Asia; they were with his parents in Tiananmen Square in 1989.

The China job offer came up “organically” during one of Scuitto’s discussions with Ambassador Locke, whom he viewed initially as a source. To Scuitto, it was “surprising, unexpected and irresistible.

“It’s a chance to be inside the premiere superpower relationship of our time… I’ll see how foreign policy is made and help execute it. We often don’t get that chance as journalists to get

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Jim Sciutto Leaving ABC News

After 13 years with ABC News correspondent Jim Sciutto is leaving the network and TV news. He’s moving to China where he’ll be Chief of Staff to U.S. Ambassador to China Gary Locke. Scuitto spent most of the last 10 years in ABC”s London bureau covering Europe, the Middle East and Asia. As ABC News president Ben Sherwood writes in an email to staff, obtained by TVNewser, “Jim defied government restrictions to report undercover from Myanmar, Zimbabwe and Iran. He’s been arrested by Hezbollah, had his Twitter account hijacked by Iranian intelligence, and come face-to-face with Al Qaeda operatives in Afghanistan, Lebanon and Somalia.”

Last November, Scuitto moved to ABC’s Washington bureau. In 2008 Sciutto wrote about the perception of America in the Middle East in his book “Against Us.”

“It’s hard not to know your nationality when you’re in that part of the world,” Scuitto told TVNewser at the time. “There’s a personal aspect in this. As an American, I like my country. I get worried when it is so hated and so resented.”

This will be a return to Asia for Sciutto. He was a Fulbright fellow studying Chinese history at Yale.

Sherwood’s note after the jump…

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