Friday, December 19, 2003

Writing in the Times, ITV News's (DON'T say ITN) Political Editor Nick Robinson relates this sobering tale about hapless colleague Julian Manyon:

"Hours later, ITV News’s Julian Manyon made it to the site of Saddam’s arrest: the first British television reporter to do so. Others had not wanted to leave their Bagdhad satellite dishes to make the treacherous journey. Manyon got his scoop on tape before hurtling back to transmit it. On the way he had to battle through street protests, road blocks and who knows what other delights the Sunni Triangle has to offer.

"Back in the Iraqi capital, adrenalin still pumping, he pressed the button to play to London his first-hand account of a day that changed the world. An expectant newsroom came to a standstill. They saw nothing. They never did. The tape had broken."

Those of us who have worked alongside Manyon in action in the field will know that the disaster couldn't have happened to a nicer person, and I'm sure the guards of Bagram airbase would agree. And Lara Logan.

While Manyon was lamenting his broken tape, the BBC's man James Rodgers was exploring the spider hole -- and getting it on air.


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