Documentary “Terror at the Mall” marks first anniversary of Westgate Mall seige

15 Sep 2014

On September 21, 2013, Al-Shabaab, an Al Qaeda-linked Somali militant Islamist group, attacked Nairobi’s Westgate Mall in neighboring Kenya. The siege lasted 49 hours, leaving 71 dead and hundreds wounded. Told using hours of previously unseen CCTV video, extensive frames taken by Reuters Photographer Goran Tomasevic and testimony from survivors and rescuers, “Terror at the Mall” recalls the horror of the attack, as well as the courage and resilience of ordinary citizens in the face of mass murder. Marking the first anniversary, the harrowing documentary debuts on HBO in the United States on Monday, September 15 (9:00-10:00 p.m. ET/PT) and on BBC2 in the United Kingdom on Wednesday, September 24 (9:00pm-10:00pm GMT).

“Westgate was one place where you meet people of different cultures, different tribes, different religions, different everything. I think that was the most special thing,” says survivor Jasmine Postwalla. Chaos reigned in the early moments of the siege, with frightened shoppers running for their lives. Harveen Sihra, a 15-year-old girl who was shot in the thigh, stomach and foot, recalls the gunman’s words, “The only thing he said was that we are here to kill. You killed our people in Somalia. We normally don’t kill women and children but you kill ours in Somalia and so we are here to take revenge.”

Forty-five minutes after the attack began, the Kenyan security forces remained outside trying to decide how to proceed. A handful of plainclothes police and civilians decided to act, with Goran Tomasevic in tow.

“What angered me the most was the fact that they (the gun men) were Muslims, and they were purporting to do whatever they were doing in the name of Islam,” says civilian Abdul Haji, who joined the rescue effort with only a registered handgun. The gun men released a few hostages who professed the Islamic faith, but many Muslims, like popular Kenyan radio host Ruhila Adatia-Sood, who was seven months pregnant, were killed.

Women carrying children run for safety as armed police hunt gunmen who went on a shooting spree in Westgate shopping centre in Nairobi

Three and a half hours after the first shots were fired, a police SWAT team finally entered the mall. By then the massacre was over and many of the wounded had succumbed to their injuries. Confused and lacking a comprehensive plan, the Kenyan army forces and the SWAT team mistakenly fired at each other, leaving one police officer dead. Meanwhile, the gun men relaxed at the back of Nakumatt’s furniture storeroom, praying and waiting to be attacked by Kenyan forces.

The last group of civilians were rescued more than eight hours after the attack began. The ensuing standoff had lasted 40 more hours, during which five soldiers were killed. Two days after the attack began, the army launched a high explosive shell into Nakumatt. All four gun men were killed, and parts of Westgate Mall burned to the ground. Westgate Mall remains closed today, with no plans to reopen.

The film was made by Dan Reed, a UK-born documentary producer and director whose HBO credits include 2009’s Emmy®-nominated “Terror in Mumbai,” which won the BAFTA TV Award in the Best Current Affairs category, and 2003’s BAFTA-nominated “Terror in Moscow.” His other credits include the Peabody Award winner and BAFTA nominee “The Valley” (1998).

Read Goran’s account of his experience that day

Watch an interview with Goran about his experience covering 20 years of conflict.

Q&A with Kathey Battrick, Director of Operations, ITN Source

21 Aug 2014

Kathey Battrick TW242small (2)ITN Source has been Reuters archive video licensing partner since 1998. They recently opened up the Reuters video vaults and discovered a goldmine of rare and unseen archive material and have just completed digitizing 69,000 clips. We spoke to Kathey Battrick, Director of Operations to find out more.

Thanks for your time Kathey. Could you tell us a little about ITN Source?

ITN Source is the footage licensing division of ITN and represents some of the world’s largest and most diverse archive footage libraries across the globe, including Reuters (and its historic newsreel collections), ITV Studios, NBC, Fox News, Fox Movietone, Asian News International and many specialist collections. ITN Source is a gateway to an incredible source of moving imagery, from news to drama, celebrity, comedy, music, wildlife, natural history, entertainment programmes and film, captured over three centuries. The archive is vast, with over 2.8 million clips online and growing at a rate of over 20 hours of digitized content a day. We are an international business, our headquarters in London and main sales offices in New York, Paris, Sydney, Tokyo and Singapore.

Could you tell us about your role at ITN Source?

As Director of Operations for ITN Source, I plan, define, develop and lead the operational and technical strategy for the business. This incorporates management of the archiving and cataloging teams and the workflow and infrastructure associated with the Reuters video management services.

How does  ITN Source work with Reuters?

ITN Source has been the archive video licensing partner of Reuters since 1998. In the latest agreement we committed to deliver a number of new technical projects, such as the archiving of Reuters content in HD and project management of the digitization of Reuters legacy archive. I am overseeing the delivery of these projects and head up the teams responsible for day to day video management services.

You recently opened the Reuters video vaults and discovered a goldmine of rare and unseen archive material. Can you tell us about that process and the content?

ITN Source have now digitized over 69,000 Reuters clips as part of a major digitization and preservation programme. Footage has been digitized from Paramount, Gaumont and Visnews collections, plus hand-picked archive material selected by our experienced researchers. We have also prioritized the digitization of material relevant to upcoming anniversaries and events, such as the 50th anniversary Winston Churchill’s death, as well as specific client requests for content related to projects they are working on. Much of the footage we have digitized has not been seen in over 50 years and some of which had never even broadcast on television.

We have created a special webpage showcasing highlights from the recently digitized Reuters material (Freshly Digitised Footage from Reuters), which we update on a regular basis as new material is digitized and uploaded to the website.

Through the digitization programme we have also uncovered a fantastic selection of interesting and quirky clips from the Reuters Life collection. Featuring Reuters international coverage of health, environment, entertainment, lifestyle, arts, culture and faith, shot in an amusing and light-hearted style. We have compiled a selection of our highlights from the Reuters Life collection here: Reuters Life! special page.

What trends are you seeing in video, both broadcast and online?

Looking ahead, we anticipate the demand for video to continue increasing rapidly, however, we do not believe it will come from our traditional broadcast client base. If anything, the demand for archive footage within the TV industry has remained flat or declined in the last few years, driven by budget pressures and the shift to lower cost reality TV formats in several markets around the world.

The increase in demand for archive video will come from the digital sectors most notably within the education sector, publishing markets, corporate and heritage sector. Within the digital education sector, where we are seeing the proliferation of e-learning platforms and products, we anticipate demand for archive footage coming from the higher education sector.

How is ITN Source reacting to those trends?

A commitment to digitization in order to make archive footage more visible and accessible to emerging digital sectors lies at the heart of our strategy. ITN has now completed the full digitization of its own archive and is working with its partners around the world, including Reuters, to increase the volume of digitized footage that can be previewed on We are currently publishing around 20 hours of new, digitized footage on our site every day.

ITN Source continues to invest heavily in improving and developing its online sales platform,,  in order to improve the client experience of searching for and ordering footage online. For example, at the end of last year, we launched IMX30 enabling our clients to download broadcast quality master footage directly into their edit suites.

We also appreciate the power that archive can have in shaping the direction of a production, and we’ve developed a much more creative and collaborative approach of working with our clients, running bespoke archive development workshops in order to stimulate production ideas with archive at their core. In other words, we’ve adopted a more proactive approach with our clients and the feedback on this new approach from them has been excellent.

What was the most surprising piece of content you found?

We found a great clip from 1964 that really provides some great insight into how Visnews, which forms part of the Reuters archive collection, was set up.

What is your favorite video? 

‘Slimming Made Easy – at Knebworth Park’ has got to be one of my favorite clips. I love all the bizarre contraptions and treatments the women get, which they think will help them slim. I think the cameraman got a few cheeky shots in there too! 

What do you personally like about working in this field?

Personally I love the challenges that every day brings, no day is ever the same. There’s nothing more satisfying that delivering a project and it’s always exciting when it includes a new, rare piece of footage – that may never have even been broadcast before. I also take great pleasure in watching TV or film productions and spotting several clips I know we supplied.

Reuters Phil Noble wins Barclays Premier League Photographer of the Season

13 Aug 2014

Reuters Photographer Phil Noble has been awarded the Barclays Premier League Photographer of the Season.

English Premier League accredited photographers around the country were invited to submit their best shots from the football season. Portfolios were then shared with a judging panel including:


• Andy Dunn, Chairman of the Football Writers’ Association
• Martin Tyler, Sky Sports football commentator
• Alan Sparrow, UK Picture Editors’ Guild Chairman
• Dave Shopland, Mail on Sunday photographer and last year’s Barclays Photographer of the Season winner

70 photographers entered across the country with 350 photos submitted from websites, national papers and news wires.

Here are some of the winning images. Congratulations Phil!

Liverpool's Suarez celebrates with Skrtel after scoring his side's third goal during their English Premier League soccer match against Manchester United at Old Trafford in Manchester

Liverpool’s Luis Suarez celebrates with Martin Skrtel after scoring his side’s third goal during their English Premier League soccer match against Manchester United at Old Trafford in Manchester northern England March 16,2014. REUTERS/Phil Noble

Manchester United's Valencia challenges Chelsea's Cole during their English Premier League soccer match at Old Trafford

Manchester United’s Antonio Valencia (R) challenges Chelsea’s Ashley Cole during their English Premier League soccer match at Old Trafford, northern England August 26, 2013. REUTERS/Phil Noble

Manchester City's Nasri celebrates scoring against Manchester United during their English Premier League soccer match in Manchester

Manchester City’s Samir Nasri celebrates scoring against Manchester United during their English Premier League soccer match at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, northern England, September 22, 2013. REUTERS/Phil Noble

Manchester City's Nasri is challenged by Arsenal's Giroud and Sagna during their English Premier League soccer match in Manchester

Manchester City’s Samir Nasri (C) is challenged by Arsenal’s Olivier Giroud (L) and Bacary Sagna during their English Premier League soccer match at the Etihad stadium in Manchester, northern England December 14, 2013. REUTERS/Phil Noble

Everton goalkeeper Howard shields his eyes from the sun during their English Premier League soccer match against Tottenham Hotspur at Goodison Park in Liverpool

Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard shields his eyes from the sun during their English Premier League soccer match against Tottenham Hotspur at Goodison Park in Liverpool, northern England November 3, 2013. REUTERS/Phil Noble





Hackday Insights: How to make the most from online video?

18 Jul 2014


Reuters partnered with the Global Editors Network on two Hackday events this year. Each winning team from the series was invited to the Hackdays Final, ‘The World Cup of Newsroom Innovation’, during the GEN Summit 2014 in Barcelona.  In this post we speak to Josh Boswell from The Times, the overall series winners.

Could you tell us a little bit about your Hack Day team?

We were all in teams of three: a journalist, a developer and a designer. Aendrew Rininsland was the developer in our team. He’s fluent in several server and client side coding languages, but he’s also a pretty darn good ideas man. Eoin Tunstead was our designer. He does more than just make things pretty – he’s got a good eye for UX and UI design too, and when it comes to making straplines for a project he’d give Don Draper a run for his money. Then there’s me. I’d enough coding knowledge to help build the front end, and my other big responsibility was the presentation of the idea. As well as being colleagues on the same desk, we’d worked together in a team of five for the regional hackathon in Dublin. Between the hacking and the whiskeys, I think we cemented a pretty good team, which meant we were all on the same wavelength when it came to the Barcelona hackathon.

How was the Hack Day experience different to your usual working day? (more…)

Hackday Insights: How to make your website stickier and more engaging?

11 Jul 2014


Reuters recently partnered with the Global Editors Network to present a Reuters Hackday in New York. In this post Eric Frederick, Online Managing Editor of The News and Observer of Raleigh, NC spoke to us about their highly commended project and how to make your website stickier and more engaging.

Could you tell us a little bit about your Hackday team?

Our team represented McClatchy Newspapers. The members were Tom Markart, senior design engineer at McClatchy Interactive; Peyton Vaughn, a senior web application developer (more…)

World War One – Lessons from the catastrophe as Great Power tensions rise again

04 Jul 2014

Sir Harold Evans, Moderator, Editor at Large
June 28 marked the 100th anniversary of the assassination in Sarajevo of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the heir to the throne of Austria-Hungary, and his wife. Five weeks later Europe was engulfed in World War One, and America, too, by 1917.

The conflict yielded more than 20 million dead, missing and wounded, reshaped the map of Europe and led directly to World War Two and then the Cold War. Who—if anyone—was to blame for what George Kennan called, “the great seminal catastrophe of this century—the event which…lay at the heart of the failure and decline of this Western civilization.” And what can we learn from the serial miscalculations of risk now that Great Power tensions rise again over Ukraine and the South and East China Seas?


Unique World Cup perspective from “On the Sidelines”

02 Jul 2014

A boy carries a soccer ball through neighborhood of the stadium, ahead of the World Cup soccer match between England and Italy in Manaus

A boy carries a soccer ball through the colorfully decorated neighborhood of the stadium, ahead of the World Cup soccer match between England and Italy in Manaus June 14, 2014. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

In a project titled “On The Sidelines”, Reuters award-winning photographers are sharing pictures showing their own quirky and creative view of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Their images offer an insight behind the scenes of the tournament, revealing the photographers’ experiences as they live in and travel around Brazil.

We have selected some of our favourites from the tournament so far, you can see more of these images on the on the REUTERSSPORT Instagram account. You can also see the best match pictures and near real-time results on our new Sports Reel mobile application for iPad, iPhone and Android devices  (more…)

“Assets of the Ayatollah” wins a 2014 Loeb Award

27 Jun 2014

Screen shot 2014-06-27 at 18.52.35

CNBC’s Mandy Drury serves as master of ceremonies at the 2014 Gerald Loeb Awards in NYC. (Photo: Business Wire)

During the week winners were announced for the 2014 Gerald R. Loeb Awards, the most prestigious awards for business, economics and finance journalism in the U.S. Reuters Steve Stecklow, Babak Dehghanpisheh and Yeganeh Torbati took home the award in the Explanatory category for their series “Assets of the Ayatollah,” which revealed that the economic empire behind Iran’s supreme leader was built on the seizure of assets belonging to ordinary Iranians.

The series has received a number of recognitions to date, including an Overseas Press Club Award, a European Press Prize, an Ancil Payne Award for Ethics in Journalism and a SABEW Award. (more…)

64 Matches, 32 Teams, 12 Cities, 1 World Cup

17 Jun 2014

clip_image002As the drama unfolds on the pitch and tension starts to build at the 2014 Football World Cup, Ossian Shine, Global Editor: Sport, Lifestyle and Entertainment at Reuters took some time out from heading up our operation in Brazil to tell us exactly what it takes to cover such a colossal event.

Thanks for your time Ossian. Take us behind the scenes of preparations leading up to kick off in Brazil and what it is like for the team currently on the ground?

After years of planning and preparation, our coverage team is up and running. Our news editors, reporters, photographers and TV crews are operating out of an office in the International Broadcast Centre in the Barra da Tijuca district of Rio de Janeiro, guiding our journalists who are dispersed throughout the country, in each of the 12 venue cities. The size of the country and the difficulty of travel created many logistical problems, and we are “zonal marking” the 32 teams this time round, rather than “man-to-man marking” any of them. In the past, we have travelled with teams as they criss-cross the country, but because of the logistics of this in Brazil, this time we are staying in our base cities and covering the countries as they come through.

A Mexican TV presenter stands on a photographer's chair during Brazil's national soccer team training session in Fortaleza


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