Reuters-TIMA Covering the International Conference on Iraq and Syria

16 Jun 2015

The team at Reuters-TIMA were preparing to cover the international conference on the conflicts in Iraq and Syria, due to be held in Paris on Tuesday 2nd June. The last such summit was held in Paris in September 2014 and saw representatives from around 30 countries and international organisations meet to come up with a strategy to combat ISIS group which has seized large parts of Iraq and Syria. Of the 60-plus nations who joined the international coalition against ISIS nine months ago, 24 were to be represented in Paris on Tuesday in the meeting co-chaired by Laurent Fabius, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and John Kerry.

Live position  live in full swing! (2)

However, the Sunday before, doubts were cast as to whether the meeting would still go ahead as it was announced that John Kerry had broken his leg in an cycling accident. It was later confirmed that the meeting would go ahead as planned as Kerry would be attending the meeting remotely via telephone. Reuters-TIMA confirmed plans for deployment, and the engineer and SNG made their way to Paris overnight from Montpellier ready to meet staff from the TIMA Paris office the following day.

Tuesday 2nd June 2015

Anticipating a lot of media interest, we arrive bright and early at the French Ministry of Foreign affairs, otherwise known as the Quai D’Orsay, and are among the first to park and set up our live position. We get an ideal spot in front of the gates of the Quai D’Orsay – indeed, “the early bird catches the worm”!

As the morning goes on, more crews arrive and set up around us. There are reporters from all over the world covering the event – Russia, Germany, Spain, France, the United States, the Middle East among others. The Quai D’Orsay is a hive of activity with ministers coming and going, sirens whirring, horse guards parading… the atmosphere is alive and we are set up in the midst of all the action.

Despite being hindered by the gusty winds threatening to knock over our kit, we get ready for the live with Al Hurra, as a request comes in from Dubai TV for the same time slot. Luckily we have the means to be able to make the necessary adjustments, and work quickly to make our anticipated single path operation a dual path one to accommodate their request. All is well with the HD dual uplink as Al Hurra and Dubai TV take their reporters live for their lunchtime bulletins.

In the afternoon, reporters enter the Quai D’Orsay as Laurent Fabius, Haider al-Abadi and Antony Blinken deliver their joint press conference on what was agreed behind closed doors. We stay outside in the sunshine at our live position and get ready for the afternoon lives. Curious tourists out for an afternoon stroll along the Seine catch sight of all the cameras, crew and cables and can’t resist coming over to ask what is going on.

As the afternoon continues, our reporters provide updates about what was said to their respective channels. Gradually, the SNGs around us start to leave but Reuters-TIMA remain on-site. Happy clients and reporters all around.

Last ones standing, we have our final evening live as the sun goes down, not before the Al Hurra reporter insists on taking us for a café au lait at a terrasse across the street…

Only time will tell if the coalition’s strategy will bring about the desired results, however Fabius affirmed that it would be a long-term battle.

For now, it is time for Reuters-TIMA to start packing up the kit – over and out!

Poppy Jael Mason Taylor

Operations Coordinator

Reuters – TIMA