Foreign reporting

Alan Morison, Chutima Sidasathien

Reuters ‘left the little guys to take the rap,’ editor of Thai publication says

At one point, the relationship between Reuters and the English-language Thai news site Phuketwan was pretty good, Phuketwan Editor Alan Morison said in a phone call with Poynter. Reuters had hired Phuketwan reporter Chutima Sidasathian twice to help with what became a series of reports on the Rohingya, a Muslim minority group from Myanmar. The reports showed, among other things, that Thai authorities delivered Rohingya refugees to human traffickers; the series eventually won a Pulitzer.

Phuketwan, which averages about 9,000 readers a day, has reported on the Rohingya for seven years, Morison said, so “it was natural for Reuters to call me and get a briefing from me” when Stuart Grudgings and Jason Szep began reporting the series. Phuketwan even quoted a 41-word paragraph from a Reuters special report on the Rohingya (it’s not a Reuters client but wanted to point readers to Reuters’ reporting, Morison said). Read more

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Swedish journalist killed in Kabul

Reuters | The Washington Post

Swedish Radio correspondent Nils Horner was shot dead outside a restaurant in Kabul, Afghanistan, Tuesday, Katharine Houreld reports:

Horner had been waiting outside a Lebanese restaurant with his driver and translator when two men in Western clothes approached and one shot him at point-blank range in the back of the head, said Zubir, a guard at the restaurant who uses only one name.

Horner “had only recently arrived in Kabul,” Kevin Sieff reports.

He was “a legend,” said Swedish journalist Terese Cristiansson, “one of the best we have ever had.”

The flag at Swedish Radio is at half-mast:

This past weekend, Omar Abdul Qader, a cameraman for the Beirut TV station Al-Mayadeen, was killed in Deir al-Zor, Syria. Read more

Pro-Russian soldiers block naval base in Novoozerne, Ukraine, on March 3.  (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev)

Al Jazeera America reporters in Crimea are telling ‘a story of contrasts’

Jennifer Glasse in Kiev. (Submitted photo)

One morning this past January, Al Jazeera America reporter Jennifer Glasse walked to work through the underground mall connected with her hotel in Kiev. She saw Ukrainians on their way to work “crossing paths with exhausted men coming back from the burning barricades they’d manned all night in a standoff with police.”

Reporting in Ukraine, she told Poynter in an e-mail, has been “a story of contrasts.”

Independence Square often felt like a street party, or music festival, with people eating, and socializing. Couples got engaged on the barricades, people became friends. They’d shout “Slava Ukraina!” “Glory to Ukraine” and get the response “Slave Geroi,” “Glory to the Heroes.” For a while at the top of every hour they’d sing the national anthem – often so loudly in the middle of the night, that my liveshots sounded like I had an opera singer in the room with me.

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APTOPIX Turkey Protest

Turkish journalist hit by water cannons explains story behind startling photo

Television journalist Husna Sari of Ulusal TV in Turkey was covering what she tells me was a peaceful demonstration in Ankara last Thursday when police opened fire on her with water cannons. The stark images of her being blasted off her feet quickly spread globally online.

I reached her by phone and after a quick conversation she agreed to answer my questions about the incident by email, which Poynter Online had translated from Turkish to English.

Husna said she had no doubt they knew she was a journalist. And how could they not have known? She was clearly visible to them, and then, there was the microphone. She was holding a large logo’ed microphone. Read more

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White House ‘very disappointed’ NYT reporter was forced to leave China

The Weekly Standard

In a statement Thursday, the White House said it was “very disappointed that New York Times reporter Austin Ramzy was forced to leave China today because of processing delays for his press credentials.” Ramzy is a China correspondent for the Times. The Chinese government forced him to leave the country this week, saying he had “violated Chinese regulations last year by continuing to travel to and from the country using the journalist visa he was issued before he left his previous employer, Time magazine,” Andrew Jacobs reported in the Times.


The White House’s statement continues: Read more


Deaths at TV station underscore danger to journalists in Iraq

Al Jazeera | The New York Times

The deaths of five people following an assault on an Iraqi television station in Tikrit on Monday have raised fears that militants are escalating their attacks on journalists in the midst of the country’s ongoing violence.

Al Jazeera, citing officials, reported the dead included the station’s “chief news editor, a copy editor, a producer, a presenter and the archives manager.” Read more

A Singapore news site, Breakfast Network, closed down after the Singaporean government required that it meet numerous rules which site supporters say are designed to control the press. (Poynter photo)

Singaporean government bureaucracy effectively closes news site

I am in Singapore at the moment, by chance witnessing the death and dismemberment of a popular online news outlet.

I have seen scant outside coverage of this rather strange, censorious saga, so I’m writing a tiny bit about it in hopes of helping spread the word. Actually, I want to help spread two words: Kitchen Closed.

That is the announcement now plastered boldly across the homepage of what used to be known as Breakfast Network.

World of Shadows

Journalism is a tricky pursuit in Singapore. As a Fulbright researcher and visiting journalism professor here a few years back, I saw firsthand the city-state’s paradoxical existence, acting according to one researcher as both “a regional media center and a site of media repression.”

In respect to the latter, a journalism educator here once described the reporting roadblocks to me as a “world of shadows.” It is part of what many Singaporean student and professional journalists refer to loosely as legal, political and economic forces in the country with the authority to control or punish individuals who criticize the powers-that-be, upend the status quo or cause controversies of any kind. Read more

Occupy Oakland

Journalists under attack: Pros offer safety advice

Look at this page on the Committee to Protect Journalists’ website and feel a pain in your gut. The site documents the 45 journalists who have been killed on the job worldwide this year. Most were covering human rights, politics and/or crime when they died.

If you think the only journalists who face danger on the job are those working in Syria or Egypt, you’re wrong. Last week, WDAZ reporter Adam Ladwig was attacked by three people while covering a fire. Last month, a woman attacked a WUSA9 crew. A CBS2/KCAL9 reporter and photojournalist were attacked while covering the Zimmerman verdict protests in July. In August, told you about the San Francisco area attacks on news crews. In a six-week period, thieves attacked journalists six times, targeting cameras, computers and tripods and taking gear at gunpoint in at least one case. Read more


Journalists killed, beaten, arrested in Egypt violence

Sky News | The Huffington Post

Sky News photographer Mick Deane was killed in Egypt Wednesday, the news organization announced. Security forces Wednesday stormed camps in Cairo that were occupied by people protesting the ouster of President Mohamed Morsi.

In the story, Tim Marshall, Sky News’ foreign affairs editor, describes Deane as “a friend, brave as a lion but what a heart… what a human being.”

Habiba Ahmed Abd Elaziz, a reporter for the United Arab Emirates paper XPress, was also killed, Jack Mirkinson reports. And Reuters photographer Asmaa Waguih was reportedly shot and taken to the hospital. Read more

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NBC’s Richard Engel describes being kidnapped in Syria:

A group of about 15 armed men were fanning out around us. Three or four of them stood in the middle of the road blocking our vehicles. The others went for the doors. They wore black jackets, black boots, and black ski masks. They were professionals and used hand signals to communicate. A balled fist meant stop. A pointed finger meant advance. Each man carried an AK-47. Several of the gunmen began hitting the windows of our car and minivan with the stocks of their weapons. When they got the doors open, they leveled their guns at our chests.

Time was slowing down as if I’d been hit in the head. Time was slowing down as if I were drowning.

This can’t be happening. I know what this is. This can’t be happening. These are the shabiha. They’re fucking kidnapping us. …

NBC correspondent Richard Engel, writing for Vanity Fair

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