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 ‘Clarissa Ward’
CBS News foreign correspondent Clarissa Ward has her first piece for “60 Minutes” tomorrow night. In it, Ward interviews Free Syrian Army supporter Dr. Maher Nana an American-Syrian doctor who says the West’s refusal to support the rebels is driving Syrians toward radical jihadists for support. Ward also speaks with the leader of one of the jihadi groups, Ahmed al-Abaid who commands several hundred Muslim fundamentalist fighters in Northern Syria. Ward and her team also take viewers to Aleppo, where residents live under constant bombardment as Syria’s 18-month long civil war drags on.
CBS News correspondent Clarissa Ward and BBC News correspondent Paul Wood were the co-recipients of the David Bloom award for their intrepid reports from Syria at last night’s Radio & TV Correspondents Association dinner. The David Bloom Award honors the late NBC News correspondent and anchor by recognizing excellence and courage in enterprise, investigative or feature reporting. Additionally, CBS’s Steve Kroft (above) was presented the Joan Barone award for his “60 Minutes” piece on the STOCK act and CBS news cameraman George Christian won the Jerry Thompson award for his extraordinary lifetime achievement. This award was created last year to honor the memory of CNN cameraman Jerry Thompson. Christian is the award’s first recipient.
Scott Pelley Marks One Year Anchoring ‘Evening News’: ‘We’re Going to Bring This Broadcast to No. 1′
It was one year ago today that Scott Pelley anchored his first “CBS Evening News.” The Pelley era has seen some ratings growth, with the broadcast up in both Total Viewers and A25-54 viewers compared to last year. “I’ve got a lot of confidence that we’re going to bring this broadcast to No. 1,” Pelley told David Bauder of the Associated Press:
Pelley said his first priority was to set a new tone for the newscast, wanting it to be a place where a viewer could tune in and feel connected to the most important stories in the world each day. It has concentrated heavily on jobs and the economy, and now the European economic crisis, said Patricia Shevlin, the broadcast’s executive producer. One example this week was a story by reporter Clarissa Ward this week on economic problems in Spain. Pelley believes the broadcast has improved in all facets and tapped into a reservoir of talent at CBS News.
“These folks needed a little bit of direction,” Pelley said. “They needed to know where we were headed and once we communicated that to them, they have performed magnificently.”
The Texas native celebrated with the “Evening News” staffers at a Texas-style BBQ in the newsroom today:
“I feel absolutely thrilled, humbled, shocked,” she tells TVNewser. “It’s the achievement of a lifetime.”
“CBS Evening News” staffers gathered in the newsroom this afternoon as anchor Scott Pelley (below) offered a toast to Ward, and to the team that put the stories together. The three-part report, “Inside Syria,” was Ward’s first assignment at CBS. She snuck into Syria on a tourist visa and shot her own footage on a small digital camera.
“Most of all I feel an incredible sense of gratitude and awe at the incredible bravery of the activists who risked their lives to take care of me and to take me under their wing,” she said. “They really faced life or death risks, but they’re so committed to their goals and to their cause and all they want is for the world to see and to pay attention.”
Ward said winning the Peabody Award comes “at a very important time” for Syria, noting the country faces an April 10 U.N.-imposed deadline to halt fighting.
“If nothing else, I hope it’s another reminder to people that this story is very current,” she said. “There’s no resolution. The suffering goes on, the brutality goes on.”
The 2012 Peabody Award winners have been announced, and there are lots of winners from the world of TV news.
CNN is taking home three Peabodys, one for its coverage of last year’s Arab Spring uprising, another for “CNN Heroes” and the last for “Fareed Zakaria GPS.”
ABC News and Brian Ross received a Peabody for the investigative report looking into the Peace Corps, while the “CBS Evening News” and correspondent Clarissa Ward won a Peabody for her coverage of the Syrian uprising.
Al Jazeera English won a Peabody for its coverage of the Arab Spring uprisings, and the BBC won two awards, one for a documentary examining Somalia and a second for BBC.com.
As usual, plenty of entertainment programs won Peabodys as well, including “The Colbert Report,” “Portlandia,” “Parks & Recreation,” “Homeland,” “Game of Thrones” and “Jeopardy!”
“The range of the Peabody Awards’ search for excellence has never been wider or deeper than this year,” said Horace Newcomb, Director of the Peabody Awards in a statement. “Local news organizations covered stories with international import as well as those significant within their communities. Documentaries and news reports on issues missed or overlooked by big organizations were available on websites. Comedians engaged in political actions. Radio proved again the power of the individual human voice. Drama took on issues of power and control. Images of disaster appeared alongside images of hope and freedom.”
The full winners list, after the jump.
Last week CBS News correspondent Clarissa Ward found herself sneaking out of Syria. The weather wasn’t helping.
“We had a tough crossing because it had been raining all week, the ground was literally just mud, and we were wading through canals and trudging through this mud in the middle of the night,” Ward told TVNewser.
The crisis in Syria continues to escalate, but the government there has been clamping down on journalists, forcing any western news organizations to sneak into the country in order to report on it. The journey into the country is almost as dangerous as the situation itself.
“There are several ways to do it, and several borders to do it through,” Ward recalls. “We went in through Turkey, we were relying heavily on a network of activists willing to risk their lives to make sure that their story gets out there to the world. We actually went in across the border with smugglers, it is a dangerous undertaking.”
The government has opted not to grant any journalism visas, keeping most foreign reporters out. Only those willing to take serious and very real risks are sneaking in. Yesterday the New York Times announced that one of its star reporters, Anthony Shadid, passed away in Syria. Shadid died of an apparent asthma attack. Due to the underground nature of reporting there, quality medical care–or often any medical care–is not easily accessible.
“The Assad regime has been very calculated and cynical in refusing to grant visas to journalists to report independently from inside the country, because they are aware of the fact that if there isn’t information coming out, and if there aren’t impartial observers, journalists on the ground getting information out about many of the atrocities, they will go undocumented,” Ward says. “Journalists will have a very tough time covering the story because they will be relying so much on second or even third hand information.”
The regime briefly granted journalism visas earlier this year, but as Ward notes, any journalists in the country at the time were not getting an accurate picture of the situation there.
“Face the Nation” host Bob Schieffer did something on his show today that he admits he doesn’t do often: trumpet the work of one of his CBS News colleagues. “We don’t spend a lot of time here bragging about our work and our reporters,” said Schieffer, adding, “We don’t even use the word exclusive very much.” Schieffer then closed his show talking with foreign correspondent Clarissa Ward who, along with her producer Ben Plesser, snuck into and back out of Syria last week, reporting on the deteriorating situation there.
A year ago this month, Plesser was the first Western journalist to report out of Libya at the start of the civil war there.
In his first TV interview with an American outlet since the uprising began in his country earlier this year, Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad will speak to ABC’s Barbara Walters.
Walters questioned Syria’s leader on the human rights violations the UN has said his government is committing, as well as the harsh treatment and crackdown of protestors. The interview will air across all of the ABC News platforms on Wednesday, December 7, including a special edition of “Nightline” dedicated solely to Syria.
For her first assignment since joining CBS News, foreign correspondent Clarissa Ward secretly visited Syria, where foreign journalists have been banned in an ongoing attempt by President Bashar al-Assad to quell opposition.
“I had all sorts of things I wanted to see that I felt American audiences had not been able to see,” Ward tells TVNewser.
Ward entered the country alone on a tourist visa, spending two days in Damascus before she felt comfortable reaching out to an underground network of government defectors she interviewed for the series, which begins this evening.
“I had already been in contact with a network of activists before going in, and once I went in I went to Damascus I posed as a tourist for a few days to make sure I wasn’t being followed,” Ward, who speaks Arabic, says. “I was fortunate that I really did slip under the radar.”