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Foreign Correspondence

NBC News Crew Caught in Crossfire in East Jerusalem

An NBC News crew, including foreign correspondent Ayman Mohyeldin, was caught in the crossfire as Israeli soldiers fired rubber bullets and stun grenades at Palestinian protestors in East Jerusalem today.

Mohyeldin wrote on Instagram that they shouted “press” at the Israeli soldiers in English, Arabic and Hebrew: “We were trapped behind a car and had rubber bullets and stun grenades fired at us despite being marked as press and shouting to the Israeli soldiers we were press.” In the video, the crew can clearly be heard shouting “journalists, journalists!” Watch:

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Al Jazeera’s Tony Harris on ‘Unconscionable’ Imprisonment of Colleagues Who Guided Him

Press Freedom

Al Jazeera executives and anchors, global diplomats, and several members of the media gathered this afternoon at the United Nations for a town hall on press freedom. There were also three chairs left empty (pictured above), symbolically held for Al Jazeera journalists Peter Greste, Baher Mohamed, and Mohamed Fahmy who were found guilty Monday in a courtroom outside Cairo.

“These people were amazing in terms of their knowledge, and their willingness to share what they knew about the region with an American who was coming to the Middle East to learn and report on what was happening,” Al Jazeera America anchor Tony Harris told TVNewser at the event. Harris, a former CNN anchor, met the journalists several years ago when he began anchoring for Al Jazeera English.

“The idea that these guys would be imprisoned right now, essentially fighting for their reputations, fighting for their lives, is just unconscionable to me.”

Egyptian U.N. diplomat Osama Abdelkhalek Mahmoud spoke at the event, but declined to comment on the case, citing Egypt’s constitution. (Egypt’s new president Abdul Fattah al-Sisi has also said he will not interfere in the ruling.) Read more

Lara Logan Back on CBS

Lara Logan made her first appearance on CBS News since her on-air apology in November over a botched “60 Minutes” report on the U.S. Consulate attack in Benghazi in 2012. Later that month, following the results of an internal report, Logan took a leave of absence. A CBS News insider told us last week that Logan has been walking the halls and working the phones and on “Face the Nation,” Sunday she discussed the worsening situation in Iraq. “Perhaps, nobody at CBS News has spent more time in Iraq over the years, since the first Gulf War, than Lara Logan,” said Bob Schieffer in his introduction. WATCH:

Back to Baghdad for TV News Crews

clarissawardForeign network news correspondents continue to make their way into Iraq as terror group ISIS marches toward Baghdad.

ABC’s Terry Moran and NBC’s Richard Engel reported from Erbil for Friday’s evening newscasts, while CBS News had two corespondents in-country, and the only broadcast with a correspondent in Baghdad. Holly Williams is reporting from Erbil while Clarissa Ward is in the Iraqi capital.

“Having covered Iraq for many years during the worst of the sectarian violence, it’s very sad to be back here under such troubling circumstances,” Ward told TVNewser during a break from reporting today. “The Iraqi people are clearly quite terrified of what lies ahead of them and they’ve already suffered so much.” From 2003-2007, Ward was an assignment editor, field producer and later a correspondent for Fox News Channel. In 2007 she joined ABC News as a foreign correspondent before jumping to CBS in 2011.

Ten years in the field has taught Ward that sometimes you have to improvise. Because much of the crew’s gear was confiscated at the airport, the lighting for her live shot on “Evening News” was by way of a flashlight. The low light was also a way to keep a low profile. Ward says the Iraqi capital is on edge at the moment, making the situation perilous for residents and the media.

“Baghdad is an extremely tense and difficult place to operate at the moment and so one has to be extremely cautious.”

News Crews Back to Iraq

Despite Pres. Obama’s pledge to not send U.S. troops into Iraq to quell growing violence there, news networks are beginning to send in additional teams, CNN among them. CNN’s senior international correspondent Arwa Damon, who started her career in Baghdad covering the war in Iraq, has returned to the country as militant group ISIS closes in on Baghdad. She filed this report on the mass exodus from Mosul and surrounding villages:

French Broadcasters Drop Plan to Charge for D-Day +70 Coverage

DDay70French broadcasters have dropped plans to charge international news outlets huge fees for their coverage of ceremonies marking the 70th anniversary of D-Day. As we reported last week, French president François Hollande gave exclusive rights to coverage of events in France to France Televisions and TF1.

The broadcasters then announced they would charge up to $272,000 for other news outlets, like the AP and Reuters, for usage. The broadcasters backed down Wednesday, saying “Because of the exceptional character of the event and at the request of the president’s office, the signal will be available for free.”

The Past and Present of Tiananmen Square

On the 25th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square Massacre in Beijing, the broadcast networks are covering the milestone with a mix of reporting on China past and present.

In a video interview reflecting on his coverage 25 years ago, Tom Brokaw recalled a series of reports he did from a bike to evade Chinese authorities:

On CBS News, Seth Doane detailed the lengths he had to go to to find people in Beijing willing to talk about the 25th anniversary, which he said is one “they do not want remembered.” Doane said he has had interviews “mysteriously canceled” and venues where he was supposed to shoot shut down by police: Read more

Turkish Prime Minister: CNN’s Ivan Watson Is a ‘Flunky,’ an ‘Agent’

WatsonTurkeyReuters reports on Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan‘s critical comments about CNN correspondent Ivan Watson, who was roughed up by Turkish security forces during a live report Saturday in Istanbul.

“The international media that came to Istanbul and made exaggerated, provocative calls were licking their paws,” Erdogan said in front of parliament today.

“One of them was that CNN flunky. He was caught red-handed. These people have nothing to do with a free, impartial, independent press. These people are literally executing their duties as agents,” Erdogan is quoted as saying.

After having his report interrupted by security, Watson says he was held for a half hour while security forces checked his identification. He had been reporting on the one year anniversary of the standoff and crackdown in Istanbul’s Gezi park.

“We stand unequivocally by our reporting from Turkey, which has been and continues to be fair, factual and impartial,” a CNN spokesperson tells TVNewser.

BBC News Crew Detained in Egypt, Released After Two Hours

A BBC News crew reporting on Egypt’s presidential election was temporarily detained in Egypt today.

Cairo correspondent Orla Guerin, Cairo producer Wael Hussein, and Middle East producer Kate Benyon-Tinker were initially cornered in a building by local Egyptians accusing them of being spies. Police then detained the crew, along with a woman they were interviewing.

Read more

On CNBC, Putin Talks Snowden: ‘We Gave Him a Refuge, But He Didn’t Tell Us Anything’

PutinCNBCAround 7:30amET, CNBC carried live a Q&A with Geoff Cutmore, who hosts “Squawk Box” on CNBC Europe and Russian President Vladimir Putin. The Q&A followed Putin’s address at the International Economic Forum in St. Petersburg.

Cutmore asked Putin whether there is a “road back” in his relationship with Pres. Obama “given the level of hostility at least that seems to be played out in the international media.”

From the CNBC transcript, Putin is quoted as saying:

We never did anything to ruin our relationship and despite very rushed rhetoric and opposing approaches to some very topical matters, our cooperation continues… We continue cooperation on the Iranian nuclear programme. I just met the Iranian President in Beijing on the sidelines of an international forum and we spoke about further joint action involving Iran, and taking onboard U.S. position on the Iranian nuclear issue. Syria remains an important issue. And although our views diverge sometimes we still hope we will come to some agreement. Then we have common agenda confronting terrorism…. So we have many points of convergence that of interest to both Russia and U.S. We are not trying to fence ourselves out from the rest of the world. But you can’t force people to like you, as we say in Russia. But we hope that common sense, good sense, and national interest will push our European and American partners to continue cooperation with United States.

Cutmore then asked Putin if Russia’s relationship with the U.S. was “already breaking down over things like the Snowden affair?”

Read more

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