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Posts Tagged ‘Richard Engel’

Pres. Obama: ‘I Have Decided the U.S. Should Take Military Action,’ But Will Seek Congressional Authorization First

In the Rose Garden this afternoon, President Obama said he has decided the United States “should take military action” against Syria, but he said he will wait for an authorization from the out-of-session Congress first.

The Saturday statement, during the long Labor Day holiday sent the news networks into high gear. Wolf Blitzer anchored coverage on CNN, Bret Baier was in for Fox News, Alex Witt anchored on MSNBC and  Richelle Carey anchored on Al Jazeera America. All had their White House and Pentagon correspondents as well as military analysts dialed in for coverage which began before 1pm. CNBC and FBN also carried the statement. The president’s remarks were supposed to have begun at 1:15. He was delayed about 35 minutes.

On the broadcast networks, George Stephanopoulos anchored on ABC along with Terry Moran and Martha Raddatz. On CBS, Jim Axelrod anchored with Major Garrett at the White House and Elizabeth Palmer in Damascus. She is one of the few Western TV journalists in Syria right now. NBC aired two reports during coverage of the English Premiere League. The first anchored by David Gregory at 1:27 previewed with reports form Chuck Todd, Andrea Mitchell and Richard Engel. Gregory broke in again when the president spoke, then quickly returned to soccer following the statement.

CNN reports that Syrian State Television also carried the President’s remarks live.

One member of the press shouted a question as the president departed: “Will you forgo a strike if congress disapproves?” There was no answer.

Network Correspondents Converge On Syria And Surrounding Countries

All eyes are turning to Syria, as escalated rhetoric suggests that a U.S. attack could be imminent. Unlike Iraq, which saw correspondents reporting while embedded with U.S. troops or from the balcony of their hotels, it is not nearly as clear whether U.S. networks will have the same presence in Syria.

It seems as though the situation is fluid for pretty much every network, so things will likely change before any potential U.S. action. That said, some outlets have people in place inside Syria, while others are working on it. Interestingly, two U.S. networks (NBC and ABC) are relying on UK correspondents for reports out of Damascus.

CBS News correspondent Elizabeth Palmer arrived recently in Damascus (see photo to above), and is expected to be there for some time. She reported for the “CBS Evening News” and “CBS This Morning.” NBC News’ Richard Engel reported from Syria earlier this week, and is currently on the Turkey/Syria border. ITN’s Bill Neely is in Damascus (NBC and ITN share some content and correspondents), and has been reporting there for NBC, and Ayman Mohyeldin is reporting from Beirut. ABC News has chief foreign correspondent Terry Moran and Middle East correspondent Alexander Marquardt reporting from Beruit, Lebanon, Muhammad Lila from Antakaya, Turkey, Matt Gutman from the northern Israeli city of Haifa, Molly Hunter from Jerusalem and the BBC’s Jeremy Bowen contributing to ABC News coverage from Damascus.

On cable news:

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NBC News Gives Richard Engel His Own Production Unit

NBC News is handing chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel his own production unit, which will produce both short-form and long-form pieces for all NBC News broadcasts and platforms.

The company has also named Madeleine Haeringer as the EP of the unit. Haeringer worked closely with Engel for years, and was most recently senior producer of NBC worldwide newsgathering.

“The Engel unit will not only deliver robust, real-time coverage of breaking international news such as the chaos currently unfolding in Egypt — but also pursue longer-lead reporting, carry out investigations, secure newsmaker interviews, and uncover stories of human interest and global significance,” wrote David Verdi, senior VP of newsgathering in an email to staff obtained by TVNewser. “The unit will combine speed, access, and analysis to bring our viewers and readers to the front lines of international developments wherever they take place.”

NBC is in the process of staffing up the unit. More details in Verdi’s email, below.
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In War Reporting Today ‘Journalists Have Become Targets’

In his new novel, Martin Fletcher addresses what he calls the “universal question: How do you get on with the rest of your life in the face of horrific tragedy?”

It’s a topic the former NBC News Tel Aviv bureau chief explored frequently during his nearly-four decade career with the network, reporting from the globe’s most dangerous hot spots, often meeting interviewees “on the worst day of their lives.”

Fletcher’s fourth book, and second novel, Jacob’s Oath, is due out this fall.  He says readers will “come away full of hope, and belief in the future.” It’s what has stayed with him after a lifetime of covering wars, famine, and other hardships.

Fletcher left full-time reporting nearly four years ago, staying with NBC on a freelance basis. These days he’s less focused on covering danger zones, feeling like he’s used up too many of his nine lives.  ”For how long can you be lucky?”

The Richard Engels of the world, he says, are facing a more complicated Middle East than ever before. ”So many things going on at the same time…it looks like we’re at the beginning of a very long road,” Fletcher says during a phone interview with TVNewser from Israel.

“It’s much more dangerous today than it used to be. And the reason is that journalists have become targets.”

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NBC News Takes a Rare Look Inside Secret CIA Museum, Though CBS Beat Them To It

On “NBC Nightly News” last night, correspondent Richard Engel presented a piece from inside one of the most secretive museums in the world, the CIA Museum located in the agency’s headquarters in Virginia.

“Closed to the public, it had only been visited by employees and invited guests until NBC News recently became the first news organization allowed to bring in video cameras,” Engel wrote in a post previewing the piece.

While it was a fascinating segment, and showed amazing artifacts like Osama Bin laden’s AK-47 and a mock-up of his Abbotabad compound, it was not, as a point of order, the first time a news organization went in with cameras (though it was the first time it aired on TV). In 2009 CBS’ “60 Minutes” and correspondent Lara Logan visited the museum, though the footage only made it to the program’s website, and not on-air.

In fairness to NBC, it was not promoted as being the first time a news organization visited on-air during “Nightly.”

You can check out the rpeorts from both Engel and Logan, after the jump.
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NBC’s Richard Engel Briefs U.N. Security Council On Protecting Reporters

NBC News chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel was among the journalists who briefed the U.N. Security Council yesterday afternoon, talking about protecting journalists. Engel and his team were kidnapped in Syria last year, and only escaped after a shootout with rebels left their captors dead.

Engel called for the U.N. to offer protections for journalists, according to the AP.

“We’re all bloggers and punks and rebels with cameras. There is absolutely no respect for career journalists anymore,” said Engel, who was kidnapped by pro-regime gunmen in northern Syria and held for five days in Dec. 2012.

Engel told council ambassadors that professional journalists should be recognized, “and just like you in the diplomatic community need protection to be objective, if you want professionals who are also objective, we need protection as well.”

Correspondents Don Gas Masks To Cover Escalating Protests In Turkey

Protests in Istanbul, Turkey have been slowly escalating all day, with the police lobbing tear gas at the protesters, and the protesters responding in kind by lighting fireworks in the direction of the police.

CNN has been simulcasting CNN International for an hour or so now, with Arwa Damon on the ground in Taksim Square and Nick Paton Walsh above the fray (though not above the gas). Damon donned a gas mask to report on the clashes, and it makes for riveting video.

WATCH:

On MSNBC’s “Andrea Mitchell Reports,” Richard Engel also wore a gas mask to report on the clashes from Taksim Square.

WATCH:
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Five Months After Being Kidnapped There, Richard Engel Returns to Syria

NBC News Chief Foreign Correspondent Richard Engel and his production team traveled into Syria early this morning to investigate the reported use of chemical weapons there. Engel interviewed rebel leaders and their supporters about the ongoing civil war that has already claimed 70,000 lives.

In December, Engel and his producer Ghazi Balkiz, camera operator John Kooistra, and freelance journalist Aziz Akyavas were driving in a rebel-controlled area when a group of gunmen stormed their vehicle, dragged them from their car, executed one of the rebels they were traveling with, and held them hostage. Over five days, they were moved them from safehouse to safehouse while being subject to psychological warfare, including mock executions.

Engel’s reports from today will begin airing on NBC tomorrow.

The Saturday Ticker: Engel, ‘Celebrity Rehab,’ Michelle Obama

  • NBC News chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel will give the keynote speech at the Newseum’s Journalist Memorial Rededication Ceremony on May 13. Engel and his production crew were kidnapped and held captive for five days in Syria last year. At the ceremony, the Newseum will add 90 names to the list of journalists that have died reporting the news

 

  • HLN host Dr. Drew Pinsky says he is done with VH1 reality show “Celebrity Rehab” because he is “tired of taking all the heat” after the death of five former cast members. The Hollywood Reporter has details.

 

  • Lee Cowan interviews Michelle Obama tomorrow on “CBS Sunday Morning.” The First Lady talks about gun violence, her “Let’s Move” campaign and her thoughts on what life will be like once she leaves the White House.

 

NBC’s Ghazi Balkiz Recalls Syria Kidnapping

NBC News producer Ghazi Balkiz was kidnapped in Syria in December, alongside NBC News chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel and a few of their colleagues. Following Engel’s recollection of the kidnapping for Vanity Fair, Balkiz writes about the experience for NBCNews.com:

When we as journalists go into the field, we know the risks we are taking. But I guess we, or at least I, always thought, “It is not going to happen to us.” But this time, it did happen to us. This does not stem from an unrealistic approach to things, events and life, because trust me: What I see in the field is very real. We cover war and conflict zones and in those situations, bad things happen and people die. The way I go about it is to plan for the worst but hope for the best.

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