With the situation in Gaza continuing to escalate, the broadcast news divisions are making sure their people are in the region. Additional changes may be made, but for now here is the latest on the assignments in Gaza, Israel and beyond.
Posts Tagged ‘Martin Fletcher’
The escalating violence between the Israeli military and Hamas militants was the lead on “NBC Nightly News” and “ABC World News” tonight and has been in heavy rotation on the cable news channels today. Among those covering the story veteran NBC news correspondent Martin Fletcher, ABC’s Alex Marquardt and Fox News correspondent Leland Vittert. Earlier today I asked Fox News Chairman and CEO Roger Ailes about international news coverage and the importance of having reporters on the ground rather than just talking heads in the studio:
“Everybody in the whole goddamn world is a pundit,” Ailes said. “My doorman thinks he should be running the 101st Airborne Division. It’s good to get people from various Administrations who’ve had some experience. But sometimes you’ve just got to have a reporter out there.”
Ailes talked about watching Vittert’s reports last night (video here). “I’m watching and he’s saying, ‘We’re standing here and a bomb hit this building and we’re over here…’ and I’m thinking, “Oh Christ I’m going to get this kid killed.” And I was thinking should I call [Steve] Harrigan in Florida and put him in. Because he’s an old combat reporter. I’d been worrying about that kid all night.”
“You need analysis, you need all that stuff. One doesn’t necessarily replace the other. Journalism is journalism. Somebody’s got to see it and say it.”
NBC News is planning substantial coverage focusing on the increasingly complicated situation in the Middle East and Afghanistan on Sunday and Monday.
In addition, regular Egypt-based correspondent Ayman Mohyeldin and Tehran, Iran-based correspondent Ali Rouzi will contribute while former NBC Tel Aviv-based correspondent Martin Fletcher will be returning to the city to report.
On “Nighly News” last night, Brian Williams bid farewell to George Lewis, after 42 years with NBC News, most of it reporting from the Los Angeles bureau. Over on the “Nightly News” website, Lewis writes you’ll see him again soon enough: “Since I can’t completely hang up my spurs, I’ll return in six months as a part-timer,” he writes.
Martin Fletcher, journalist-author.
Or is it author-journalist?
“I love both” roles, Fletcher tells TVNewser via phone from his home in Israel.
It’s been nearly two years since Fletcher stepped down from his full-time role as NBC News Tel Aviv bureau chief and correspondent. He’s had more time ever since to write books, and he also kept alive his ties to NBC when he subsequently returned to the network to report on a freelance basis.
“There’s nothing written that you have to have one job your whole life,” Fletcher reflects. “I think I made the transition at the right time of life, and what I am doing now is the right thing for this phase of my life.”
It’s a busy phase for sure. In addition to researching and writing, Fletcher does some public speaking and teaching. And he’ll be back on a book tour soon with the release tomorrow of his third book — and first novel — The List.
“It’s about, in a sense, my family story,” says Fletcher, “but it’s totally fictionalized because my parents never spoke about their story.”
“This took me completely by surprise,” NBC News special correspondent Martin Fletcher tells TVNewser.
Martin has been named a 2010 National Jewish Book Award winner for writing Walking Israel: A Personal Search for the Soul of a Nation.
“It must have been a poor year for books,” Fletcher jokes. “But I’m thrilled. I left NBC mostly to follow my dream and write books, at a time when publishing is even in more trouble than broadcasting, so it’s reassuring to receive such a boost.”
Fletcher, a former Tel Aviv bureau chief, began reporting again for the network this past July after leaving NBC in December of 2009 and focusing on his career as an author. Fletcher’s third book, The List – a novel set in London in 1945 – is due out this fall.
NBC News correspondent Martin Fletcher has a new book out about a topic he’s been reporting on for 27 years: Israel.
The ceaseless struggles depicted in “Walking Israel” mimic his earlier book, “Walking the Bible,” but with a distinct focus on Israel.
“The reason I wrote the book is that I believe this view of Israel is too narrow,” Fletcher tells TVNewser. “I want people to understand that Israel gets a raw deal. That Israel is a much nicer place than the country they hear about.”
Fletcher officially left NBC News late last year after 32 years with the network, but he returned earlier this year to report on an as-needed basis.
“(Israel) has terrible problems that it must urgently solve and the book deals with them from a fresh perspective,” says Fletcher. “But people always ask me whether it’s safe to visit Israel. Then a week after arriving they call and say, wow, this is such a great place, I had no idea. That’s what I wanted to write about: that great place about which people have no idea.”
We’re pretty sure the CBS Evevning News would like to have the viewership of America’s #1 evening newscast, NBC Nightly News, but this is no way to do it.
In one of the weirdest things ever to occur on the evening newscasts, last night on the CBS Evening News, Katie Couric tossed to correspondent Mark Strassman as he fronted a live shot from Port Fourchon, Louisiana on the latest on the oil spill. But instead of hearing Strassman, CBS viewers heard the audio from NBC Nightly News.
When CBS News realized what was going on, they quickly ran Strassman’s produced piece. There was no mention of the audio snafu when Strassman tossed back to Couric.
It’s no secret the broadcast networks watch and even listen to each other’s newscasts when they go live at 6:30pmET, but for audio from one network to be heard live on another? That seems to be a first.
Video after the jump…
First On TVNewser: NBC News Tel Aviv bureau chief and correspondent Martin Fletcher is leaving the network, TVNewser has learned. Fletcher has been with NBC for 32 years.
“Frankly, I’m rather shocked at the idea, even though I initiated it!” Fletcher tells TVNewser. “At the same time, I’m looking forward thoroughly to getting on to something I want to do, which is writing my third book, a novel.”
NBC News president Steve Capus tells TVNewser, “While Martin has decided to take some time to focus on his successful career as an author, NBC News will always be his home and we are excited about some future projects that we will work together on. Martin’s role in NBC News’ coverage of the Middle East has been tremendous and while we hate to see him move off the hot seat, we are thankful to be in a position that allows our friend to focus more on his writing, while we continue our exceptionally strong coverage of this region.
“On behalf of all of us at NBC News, thank you Martin for your dedication and friendship through the years.”
NBC says a replacement for Fletcher will be named shortly.
Fletcher recently toured the U.S. to mark the paperback release of his 2008 memoir, Breaking News. His second book, due out next fall with the working title Walking Israel: A Personal Search for the Soul of the Nation, looks at the country’s people and places — “Israel as it is,” Fletcher says.
His last day at NBC is Thursday, although his final report may have come on Christmas Day, when he filed from Rome on Pope Benedict XVI.
“I just consider myself a really lucky guy,” Fletcher says about his career. “Both in terms of what I experienced — the places I went to and the things I saw — and the fact that I got out of it alive and healthy…I really do feel just very fortunate that I had a wonderful career where I enjoyed doing what I wanted to do, and always having the sense that I was doing some good along the way. It was a great combination.”
As scientists and world leaders head to Copenhagen this week for the Climate Conference, you can expect some special coverage from the networks.
Tonight, Campbell Brown anchors special coverage in her CNN program at 8pmET titled, “Global Warming: Trick or Truth,” which will feature special reports, expert panels, and interviews discussing the conference and the “climate-gate” controversy. She will continue to report on developments throughout the week.
Also, NBC “Nightly News” will be airing a series of international reports throughout the week on climate change from Ian Williams in Bangladesh, Anne Thompson in Peru, and Martin Fletcher in Kenya. On Wednesday, Al Gore is sitting down with MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell during “Andrea Mitchell Reports” to discuss recent developments.
A special edition of “BBC World News America” will be co-presented live tonight from Copenhagen by environment correspondent David Shukman.
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