Voice from the Commonwealth
Commentary, World Views and Occasional Rants from a small 'l' libertarian in Massachussetts

"If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest for freedom, go home and leave us in peace. We seek not your council nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen." - Samuel Adams

Friday, April 11, 2003

Good story about local networks getting out and covering the war.

While major networks, cable channels and radio stations have hundreds of reporters embedded with the troops, only a few local TV broadcasters from bigger U.S. cities were able to put reporters and photographers in the field with soldiers.

Local stations sent staff to Iraq at great cost, often without the sophisticated equipment that allowed network correspondents to beam back live images of firefights in remote Iraqi locations. Their mission was to put a familiar face on what is often a distant and impersonal story.

WTVF decided to send its own reporters overseas because of its proximity to Fort Campbell, home of the 101st Airborne. Kaye had traveled with the soldiers for several weeks during their mission in Afghanistan.

"They said, 'Would you like to come along?' and we said, 'Duh,'" news director Mike Cutler said. Kaye and Martin volunteered for the job.

"I said, 'We don't have to cover this war. We have the CBS network that can do it.' But they felt it was important to be there," said Cutler, in Las Vegas for the Radio-Television News Directors Association meeting, held in conjunction with the National Association of Broadcasters convention.

Kaye and Martin took a satellite phone but no videophone. They couldn't do live shots. To save on expensive satellite time, Martin e-mailed edited stories back to Nashville.

"It took hours to get a minute-and-a-half story," Cutler said. "That helped a lot with expenses."

Cutler estimates it will cost his station between $10,000 and $20,000 to cover the war.

WBBM in Chicago is not near a military base, but reporter Jay Levine had covered the Gulf War in 1991 and wanted to return. Levine and a photographer also were assigned with the 101st.

A Chicago reporter has a
blog. Too bad I didn't find it earlier.

< email | 4/11/2003 03:38:00 PM | link

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