Four times winner of the Royal TV Society Journalist of the Year award, Alex Crawford visited Coventry in a Special edition of Coventry Conversations to discuss her story in Libya. Formally based in Sky’s Dubai bureau, Alex has reported on the Gulf and the MIddle East, most recently covering the Arab Spring uprisings in Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain, and Libya.
Alex’s name became a household one when was the first reporter to broadcast live from Green Square as rebel forces took over Tripoli. Arriving in the capital on the back of a pickup truck with a rebel convoy, Alex’s reports were broadcasted to the world vie manually operated satellite signal and a camera plugged into a cigarette lighter charger.
Written by Tsvetomir Valchev, Second Year Journalist
“Headlines are easy to write, but delve behind the headlines and all is not necessarily as it appears.” Jon Williams, World News Editor for the BBC began his recent talk about reporting in the Arab Spring.
He began by talking about the uprising throughout the Middle East in which the BBC have been reporting on constantly throughout the year. He explained that the BBC were the only British Broadcasters in Tunisia before former President, Ben Ali, fell. He said that “Tunisia was better known for its beaches than for its 74-year-old dictator.” Jon explained that the map of the Middle East is changing because of the demonstrations taking place throughout various Middle-Eastern countries.
When describing the demonstrations and what was going on, he said that the biggest mistake a broadcaster can make is to: “Assume too much about what the audience understands.” This was in reference to the idea that so much has happened in the past year that for the audience too; “It’s also been a bit of a whirlwind.” and that the levels of engagement with these Middle-Eastern demonstrations had dropped over the months.
Written by Alex Maidment – First Year Student
Sky News Special Correspondent Alex Crawford (with camera operators Garwen McLuckie and Jim Foster, and producer Andy Marsh) beat the world’s media to report bravely on the collapse of Col. Gaddafi’s empire in Tripoli. In this exclusive report, she tells how she secured the scoop: “We felt we were at the heart of a massive story – a Berlin-wall-type moment – powered by Libyan people, albeit helped by Nato jets”
There was a crackle of gunfire – far too close – and the man next to Jim fell down dead, shot through the head. His blood and brains splattered over Jim’s neck and shoulder. Jim was covered so much at first I thought he’d been hit. Some of it sprayed over Garwen’s camera. I was shaking and thought I was going to be sick. But I got out a tissue and wiped Jim’s shoulder and then Garwen’s lens. Incredibly, it wasn’t the worst we’d seen all week. But it was certainly the closest.
It was Tuesday, August 23, and we were outside Gaddafi’s compound watching the fighters pounding the exterior wall. We didn’t know it then but they were just a couple of hours away from breaking it down and entering the heart of the Gaddafi empire.
We stood in the same clothes we had been wearing all week, clothes which seemed to be permanently wet from perspiration. It was baking hot and we were all sweating – through exertion – and, in my case, not a little fear. Garwen was angry. Now this is unusual. Garwen never gets angry. But he was now. “That was so unnecessary,” he said. He had seen it all. One of the fighters with an AK-47 had just run into the street and fired –aimlessly and without care – and one of the bullets had hit the man rubbing shoulders with Jim and just in front of Garwen and me. He had been killed by one of the fighters on his side. We moved further back along the wall together and all caught our breath. No-one said very much. Like so much that happened that week, events were moving so quickly we didn’t have time to dwell. That would come later.
Written by Alex Crawford – Sky News Correspondant
Stephen Cole, Presenter of Al Jazeera English was the very renowned speaker of the Coventry Conversation held last Thursday.
He gave the audience an insight into what Al Jazeera was all about: “We are the fastest growing network, taking centre stage in recent times and Africa is important to us”.
He reiterated that Al Jazeera has nothing to do with Al-Qaeda as people like to suggest. The US government however has a tensed relationship with them, with former President Bush expressing that he wanted to bomb them. As to whether that was a joke, they are not sure. Nonetheless their offices have been hit twice by troops and this they believe was a deliberate attack.
He explained that the Americans changed their minds after seeing their broadcast on Bin Laden. US viewers, who are becoming more interested in Al Jazeera, watch the channel by other means. This new alliance has been a transformative impetus. Writes Nana-Ama Akpoblu…