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Foreign Correspondence

TV News’ Weekend Coverage of Missing Nigerian Schoolgirls

CNN.Isha Sesay.AbujaBroadcast and cable news networks will continue covering the hundreds of abducted Nigerian schoolgirls this weekend.

ABC News will have international affairs correspondent Hamish Macdonald in Nigeria. CBS News correspondent Debora Patta will continue her reporting from Nigeria’s capitol Abuja. NBC News’ correspondent Stephanie Gosk will also report from there.

NBC also has Ann Curry reporting from the U.S.; Curry asked Secretary of State John Kerry a question via Twitter this morning. “Too early to conclude,” Kerry answered on the likelihood of finding some of the missing girls.

Fox News will interview correspondents from its sister network Sky News as part of its coverage. CNN international correspondent Vladimir Duthiers–whose journey from production assistant to correspondent we recently covered–remains on the story in Nigeria.

And CNN will also have anchor and correspondent Isha Sesay in Nigeria; she recently conducted a heated interview with Nigerian leader Doyin Okupe, pressing him on the government’s response to the girls’ abduction.

“I knew they [Nigeria's government] weren’t happy there was this constant call for information, and I was very aware of the fact he was going to be adversarial,” Sesay told TVNewser in a phone interview this afternoon from Nigeria, adding, “you’ve got to hold him accountable.”

“I beg to differ,” she told us regarding Okupe’s claims that the Nigerian government has issued an aggressive search for the girls from the beginning, suggesting it doesn’t square up with CNN’s reporting on the ground.

Her exchange with the Nigerian leader after the jump.

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From P.A. to International Correspondent, Vladimir Duthiers on ‘Enormous Responsibility’

VD_1Pulling video and research in a bustling New York City newsroom and reporting from Africa while angry Nigerians protest are on different ends of the TV journalism spectrum. For CNN’s Vladimir Duthiers, one thing led to the other, with only a few short years in between.

“I spent 18 years in global finance…but, I had always been an avid consumer of news,” Duthiers told TVNewser in a phone interview from Nigeria this afternoon. “In 2009, I decided to leave the world of finance for journalism.”

At 38, Duthiers started as a production assistant for Christiane Amanpour, quickly rising up the ranks to become an associate producer on “Anderson Cooper 360.” Cooper mentored Duthiers in reporting, helping him become part of a team that won two Emmys for coverage of the 2010 Haiti earthquake. Doing his own enterprise reporting paid off: CNN offered Duthiers their Nigeria correspondent job in January, 2012. At the moment, Duthiers says, the job is “absolutely heartbreaking.”

Duthiers is covering the story of more than 200 schoolgirls abducted two weeks ago by terror group Boko Haram. “It makes you determined to come in and do your job harder the next day, but on the other end, it can be depressing.”

This week, Nigerians have protested over a weak government response to the abductions. “You’re reminded of your enormous responsibility as a reporter to make sure people know what these families are going through, even if you don’t have the images and videos,” Duthiers said.

Getting those elements has proved challenging; the kidnapped girls are presumed to be held in the Sambisa Forest, which is under a state of emergency, making things challenging for reporters who have restricted access.

“Social media has taken the reins with this story,” he continued, noting celebrities like Russell Simmons and Mary J. Blige have been tweeting the hashtag #WhereAreOurGirls. “As a social media campaign takes hold, you now have world leaders chiming in… with more of this, maybe things will change.”

Despite Being Held Captive, Vice News’ Simon Ostrovsky Wants to Return to Ukraine

Days after being freed from captivity in Eastern Ukraine, Vice News reporter Simon Ostrovsky recounted being captured and beaten by Russian insurgents for three days and nights.

“The first night was really terrible,” Ostrovsky told Savannah Guthrie this morning in a “Today” exclusive. “I don’t think they want to kill me, I think they just want to put a scare in me,” he said about his thinking during the beatings.

For the entire three days he was held captive, Ostrovsky didn’t know if his Vice colleagues knew he’d been taken. “I hadn’t been able to communicate to anyone that I’d been detained.” Even after his scare, Ostrovsky is undeterred in his reporting.

“I’d really like to go back to Ukraine…that’s what it’s all about.”

Vice News’ Simon Ostrovsky Released From Captivity in Eastern Ukraine

Vice News reporter Simon Ostrovsky has been released from captivity by pro-Russian separatists in Eastern Ukraine, Ostrovsky and VICE News announced today.

“VICE News is delighted to confirm that our colleague and friend Simon Ostrovsky has been safely released and is in good health,” the network said in a statement. “We would like to thank everyone for their support during this difficult time. Out of respect for Simon and his family’s privacy, we have no further statement at this time.”

Ostrovsky was taken captive earlier this week; he’s been covering the Ukranian crisis since the beginning of March, producing dozens of reports for VICE while also reporting as a guest on shows like MSNBC’s “Up with Chris Hayes.”

U.S. State Department Asks Russia to Release Vice News Reporter

SimonThe U.S. State Department has asked Russia to release Vice News reporter Simon Ostrovsky, who’s being held captive by pro-Russian separatists in Eastern Ukraine.

“We call on Russia to use its influence with these groups to secure the immediate and safe release of all hostages in eastern Ukraine,” State Dept. spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Wednesday.

Ostrovsky, along with five other journalists, were detained this week. The other five have have been released, leaving Simon as the only journalist being kept. He’s been reporting on the Ukrainian crisis for VICE since early March.

VICE News has also issued a statement: “VICE News is aware of the situation and is in contact with the US State Department and other appropriate government authorities to secure the safety and security of our friend and colleague, Simon Ostrovsky.”

MSNBC’s Chris Hayes covered Ostrovsky’s captivity on last night’s “All In.” ”We’ve been relying on his reporting,” Hayes said about Ostrovsky’s reporting for the show.

WATCH:

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CNN Correspondent Reports For Al Jazeera, Because AJ Reporters Aren’t Allowed To

IanLeeIanLeeCNN

You don’t see this very often. A CNN correspondent reported for Al Jazeera in Cairo earlier this week, because Al Jazeera reporters can’t. Ian Lee, who was in Kiev earlier this month for CNN (above, right), is in Cairo this week (above, left) covering the trial of Peter Greste, who, along with other Al Jazeera journalists, is accused of endangering national security and aiding a terrorist organization.

“Let’s go to Ian Lee outside the courthouse in Cairo. He’s a correspondent with CNN and reporting on our behalf because Al Jazeera journalists are banned from reporting from Egypt,” said the Al Jazeera anchor.

Unfortunately, there wasn’t much to report as the trial was postponed. Greste along with Mohamed Fahmy, and Baher Mohamed, who have been held in a Cairo for 88 days, will be back in court Monday.

Richard Engel and NBC Crew Temporarily Detained in Crimea

While traveling to cover the referendum vote on whether Crimea should secede from Ukraine and join Russia, NBC News chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel and his crew were temporarily detained.

 

Engel is of course no stranger to danger abroad: he and his team were held captive in Syria back in 2012. Engel’s report on trying to avoid military checkpoints after the jump.

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Geraldo Rivera Criticizes Media for Covering Ukraine More Than Venezuela

Fox News’ Geraldo Rivera told Larry King he blames the media for overcovering Ukraine when violence in Venezuela is much more relevant to U.S. interests.

“I don’t understand it,” Rivera said on King’s Ora.tv show “Politicking,” highlighting the fact that millions of Americans are Venezuelan.

“A lot of it is the media’s fault,” he added, saying the media is all over tumult across the globe, but doesn’t focus on violence “right next store.”

CNN’s Ivan Watson Caught in Tear Gas at Istanbul Protest

CNN senior international correspondent Ivan Watson and his crew were caught in a cloud of tear gas between police and protestors while covering the protests in Istanbul.

“OK, they’re throwing rocks. We’re in between the police and the demonstrators, which you don’t want,” Watson can be heard saying in the video. “There’s tear gas over there …. oh God, the tear gas is pretty bad now.” Seconds later, Watson can be heard coughing heavily, returning to the report several minutes later wearing a gas mask. Watch:

Larry King: ‘I Don’t Work for RT’

larrykingFollowing RT anchor Liz Wahl quitting on-air Wednesday afternoon, Larry King has been getting some heat for his show that airs on RT America.

King tells The Daily Beast about his ties to RT:

“I don’t work for RT,” said the 81-year-old King, whose podcasts, Larry King Now and Politicking, are licensed for a fee to RT America by New York-based Ora TV, in which King has an equity stake. “It’s a deal made between the companies…They just license our shows.”

He also vowed to stop airing on RT if any of his interviews are altered:

“If they took something out, I would never do it,” he insisted. “It would be bad if they tried to edit out things. I wouldn’t put up with it…As long as they don’t, as long as they’re carrying stuff critical of them, I’ve got no problem with it.” Attempting to distance himself, he added: “You may not like what Russia’s doing now, but I’m really a party removed.”

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