Covering Civil Unrest
In January and February 2011, the world watched with rapt attention as the people of Egypt took to the streets to call for the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak. Television news crews and amateurs with YouTube accounts broadcasted the violent clashes between pro-Mubarak forces and crowds of demonstrators in Tahrir Square. Viewers also saw how dangerous it can be to bring a TV camera into a hot zone of civil unrest.
According to an impressive list compiled by "ABC World News with Diane Sawyer," dozens of journalists working for prominent TV news operations were beaten, threatened or otherwise assaulted during early coverage of the Egyptian uprising. Here are a few of the most memorable:
- CNN's Anderson Cooper and his crew were attacked by an angry mob that punched them and tried to break their camera. The next day, Cooper's vehicle was surrounded by protestors who smashed in windows before the crew narrowly escaped.
- ABC News international correspondent Christiane Amanpour was also surrounded by a group of enraged pro-Mubarak supporters who forced her and her crew into their vehicle, where their windows were smashed with rocks.
- TV reporters with the Fox Business Network, CBC, Russian TV networks and many more were forced by police and government officials to relinquish their cameras and some were even detained overnight [source: ABC World News].
The events in Egypt proved that even high-profile American TV journalists and their crews aren't immune from the chaos and violence that they cover.