CNN’s Matthew Chance is tweeting updates from the Rixos hotel in Tripoli, where about three dozen journalists are trapped as rebel forces take the city. A few of Chance’s recent tweets:
- “It’s no fun being stuck in one of #Gadhafi’s few remaining strongholds. #Rixos gunmen now refusing to let us leave.”
- “Fierce battle under way near #Gadhafi compound. Huge explosions, heavy machine-gun fire. #Rixos getting hit by stray bullets.”
- “Mood in #Rixos much darker than before. Everyone really worried about what’s going to happen to us.”
Journalists stationed in Tripoli to cover the civil war have been compelled by the Gaddafi regime to stay in the hotel, “under virtual house arrest, as the Guardian puts it. Matthew Price of BBC News describes how the hotel, which had become a hangout for government officials and their families, emptied over the weekend and how the journalists prepared for the rebel fighting:
We gathered – the international media together – to work out what we might do. Body armour on, escape routes chosen. No route to the port, no boats there to take us out anyway.
Then the hotel chef came up and asked us if we would like dinner.
We dined in flak jackets – helmets by our side. And as the Iftar meal, the breaking of the fast ended, so too did the relative silence.
As the hotel emptied, journalists who had suspected that the government was tracking their email discovered printouts in an office, according to the Guardian.
Related: Reuters tweeted Sunday evening that Gaddafi had been detained, but corrected it five minutes later, saying that it was the Libyan leader’s son. NPR’s Andy Carvin tweets 1,200 times over weekend as rebels take Tripoli (Poynter.org). Sky News coverage wins praise (Huffington Post). | Earlier: Kadafi, Gaddafi, Qaddafi: In The Age Of Search, News Publications Still Struggle With Libya Leader’s Name (Search Engine Land).