Covering the Germanwings Plane Crash

04 May 2015

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Samuel Perriman, Operations Coordinator for Reuters-TIMA,  reflects on covering the Germanwings crash in the French Alps.

Tuesday 24th March

On Tuesday morning a Germanwings Airbus A320 crashed into the side of a mountain in the French Alps. Within minutes of the tragic news breaking our London office were coordinating the Reuters-TIMA deployment.

Staff were sent from the Paris office to meet an SNG truck in Seyne-les-Alpes that was already on its way from Marseilles. Shortly afterwards I was on a flight from London to Nice before driving up into the Alps.

Seyne was quickly established as the base for the French gendarmerie’s search and rescue efforts and the world’s media soon followed. The Reuters-TIMA SNG arrived on site a few hours after the crash and reporters started filing the little information that was known at that point.

Wednesday 25th March

We were kept busy from first thing in the morning as Nine Network Australia and TBS Japan took their reporters live for their evening bulletins.

The crew put in a great effort to make everything work smoothly, especially considering the weather. The live positions are all located in an open field with very little protection from the wind and one of the biggest challenges was just staying warm. Temperatures dropped below 0˚C at night and frost covered the camera equipment.

And of course there was also the challenge of dealing with the nature of the story. At this stage it was clear that there would be no survivors. I found it very hard being near the site of such death and destruction and that reality weighs heavily on you. We were standing in the same mountains where 150 people were killed on their way back from holidays and school exchange trips. We watched the search helicopters setting out on their grim missions to retrieve the bodies. It’s an entirely different experience to witnessing the tragedy from afar.

Thursday 26th March

On Thursday the cockpit recording was made public and revealed that the 27-year-old co-pilot, Andreas Lubitz, had locked the pilot out of the cockpit and deliberately started the descent that crashed the plane.

That same day we saw some of the victim’s relatives arrive in Seyne in large coaches flanked by police outriders. The news that the death of their loved ones was caused by the deliberate actions of the co-pilot, someone who had been entrusted with their safety, would only have made the trip more painful.

Friday 27th March

On Friday the first reports about the co-pilot’s motives started to trickle out. His mental state and previous struggles with depression were scrutinized and the media focus shifted slightly from the Alps to Germany. There were over 40 SNG trucks positioned in Seyne during the first days of the story but the numbers thinned steadily. Meanwhile, Reuters-TIMA are still on-site.

Sunday 29th March

There are still plenty of unanswered questions in this story and the crash site investigators will spend weeks, if not months, sifting through the plane wreckage. But our time in the Alps has finished and we drive down to Nice to catch the last flight of the day back to London. An hour into the Easyjet flight people suddenly pay attention as the cockpit door opens for the pilot to use the toilet. The pilot exits the cockpit and a flight attendant goes in to join the co-pilot while a second attendant blocks the cockpit door. Easyjet have already introduced a new policy so that there are two people in the cockpit at all times. It’s a surreal reminder of the tragedy in the Alps.

Reuters-TIMA provides Location Services to over 25 broadcasters across four continents

04 May 2015

IMG_0364Since launching in February, Reuters-TIMA has provided global Location Services to over 25 clients across four continents, with CNN, Nippon TV, Euronews and Seven Network among the first broadcasters to use the new service. 

Reuters-TIMA Location Services provides newsgathering facilities and support services on the ground during breaking news stories, most recently the Germanwings crash, the Tunisia museum shooting, border unrest between Saudi Arabia and Yemen as well as migrant boat disasters in the Mediterranean. The service also provides coverage from planned events including the 87th Academy Awards, the recent royal birth of Princess Charlotte, as well as the upcoming UK general election, G7 Summit in Bavaria and Russian Victory Day parade.

Reuters-TIMA Location Services was created in response to the increased demand for live content, combining Reuters’ unparalleled global editorial content, with TIMA’s cutting-edge technology and considerable experience of service delivery for the international media industry. From New York to Moscow and Rio to Singapore, plus a network of Middle Eastern offices, including TIMA’s facilities in Tehran, Reuters-TIMA Location Services has been set up to help broadcasters cover every major world event.

Tim Santhouse, Reuters’ Global Head of Video Products, says: “We’re delighted that such a broad range of broadcasters – large and small, public and commercial – have taken up the service, letting them focus on covering the story while we take care of the operational side, including technical and local knowledge.”

Alla Salehian, CEO of TIMA, says: “With strategically placed broadcast and satellite resources in regional hubs around the world, we’re able to respond quickly to breaking news. Since our partnership launch, the last two months have been exciting and fast-paced, responding to important global stories and working with key broadcasters.”

Find out more about Reuters TIMA location services

Reuters Journalists of the Year Awards 2014

15 Apr 2015

trophiesThe Reuters Journalists of the Year Awards were held in New York last month, honoring the people responsible for the best of Reuters journalism, their strength, passion, courage and commitment.

Steve Adler, Editor in Chief, Reuters said, “On full display tonight is the enormous scope of the work Reuters performs in our 200 locations around the world, and in every medium. I believe we are unique in terms of that astonishing breadth, covering – with equal authority – politics, war, diplomacy, economics, innovation, commodities & energy, natural disasters and general news, health, sports, entertainment, business, regulation, law, every aspect of the world of finance and more.”

We are pleased to be able to share these videos of the nominees in each category and we congratulate all who were nominated and the winners.

Winner of Baron Award: Samia Nakhoul – For her great skill as a journalist, her personal courage, her expertise on the Middle East, her ability to attract top talent both internal and external, and the great regard in which her peers in the industry hold her.

Nominees for Text Reporter of the Year – Winner: Ned Parker – For his agenda-setting scoops and special reports from Iraq’s front lines.

Nominees for Photo of the Year  – Winner: A Brief Encounter: Youssef Boudlal – A girl from the minority Yazidi sect, fleeing the violence in the Iraqi town of Sinjar.

Nominees for Enterprise Reporting of the Year – Winner: The Echo Chamber: Joan Biskupic, Janet Roberts, John Shiffman – For their comprehensive examination of the Supreme Court’s secretive appeals process.

Nominees for Video Story of the Year – Winner: Ukraine Crisis

Nominees for Scoop of the Year – Winner: Saudis warn of low oil prices: Ron Bousso and Joshua Schneyer

Nominees for Snapper of the Year – Winner: Hezron Selvi – For his efforts training local staff and rolling out Fastwire to Europe. (more…)

Looking back on a year of Reuters Live Online

13 Apr 2015

FullSizeRenderRob Lang started out at the BBC before joining Reuters 15 years ago. At Reuters he has worked for many years as an Intake Editor as well as a field producer on major stories across the globe. He is currently the Live Editor for Reuters Video News. We asked Rob to look back on one year of the Reuters Live Online service.

When Reuters Live Online launched last March we entered uncharted territory. We knew there were clients out there that wanted live video and we had ideas about the type of events they desired – but were we ahead of the curve and was the online world actually ready for live content?

It’s been a learning process, working out if our instincts for compelling lives covering breaking news, showbiz and sport were right. Thankfully, mostly they were, with just over 4.7 million plays on our hosted service of over 2,500 offered lives through the year.

Find out more about RLO

Over 300,000 of those plays came from one story alone – the Oscar Pistorius trial, a highlight of a what proved to be a busy news year. Other well used stories included the towing away of the Costa Concordia, the 70th anniversary of D-Day, the 100th Anniversary of the beginning of World War 1, the Charlie Hebdo attack, the conflict in Ukraine – including the downing of MH17, the Greek crisis, the rise of ‘Islamic State’, the disappearance of MH-370, the Ferguson shooting and its aftermath, to name but a few. (more…)

What is data and computational journalism?

30 Mar 2015

What does the Reuters data and computational journalism team do? For that matter, what is data and computational journalism, anyway? We asked Maurice Tamman, Editor in Charge of Data and Computational Journalism to explain.

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Let’s start by saying what it isn’t. It’s not doing a Google search and copy and pasting a couple of numbers from a PDF; it’s not looking up an indictment online; it’s not opening a spreadsheet attached to an email, sorting a column and finding the largest or smallest value. Although those are all useful skills to have.

At its core, data journalism is reporting, albeit a different kind from door-stopping politicians or cold-calling bankers. But it’s just as hard-core and relentless, and requires a unique combination of reporting instincts and technical skills. And that has created new capabilities that let us extend Reuters journalism in fresh and important ways.

In the last few months, Reuters has published three remarkable sets of stories that illustrate how we have become one of the global leaders in this journalism specialty. These are stories that would not have existed but for the technical skills of data and computational journalism team members Janet Roberts, Ryan McNeill, Charlie Szymanski and Mike Pell. All of them, working alongside other reporters, created compelling narratives that formed the flesh around a backbone of data reporting.

And in each example, they told stories around subjects that had never been told so precisely and with data that had largely been ignored.

Reuters Investigates: Water’s Edge

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Starting in September, the “Water’s Edge” series examined the global issue of rising seas and sinking land. At the heart of the series was Ryan McNeill’s analysis of hundreds of tidal gauges from around the world, some of which have been documenting the daily ebb and flood tides for a century. The sea levels they measure have been religiously recorded but few have bothered to examine what they have to say.

Ryan did. He looked at tens of millions of records and found that some  locations have seen sea level rises measured in feet over the last 50 years. He was able to identify the places that have seen the greatest impact in the US and elsewhere, and reporting from those locations – along the eastern US seaboard, Texas, south England and Jakarta – documented the economic, social and personal consequences of this shift in the seas.

(more…)

A Mobile Master Class from ONA London

27 Mar 2015

london-logo-200x188On March 6, nearly 200 journalists, editors, producers, designers and CEOs traveled to Reuters for ONA London: Mobile, the first Online News Association conference outside of North America. This day-long series of sessions, workshops and networking focused on producing the news for mobile devices, touching on everything from newsroom culture to designing better experiences on mobile.

ONA have pulled together video, audio, presentations and live blogs so you can learn from the expert presenters and knowledgeable attendees. Video recordings and speaker resources from the sessions are only available to ONA members; audio recordings of the sessions and live blogs are available to all.

You can find the full video list and speaker resources here. To find out how to become an ONA member click here.

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OPENING KEYNOTE: BEHIND THE SCREENS: CREATING A GREAT NEWS APP

Buzzfeed’s News App Editor Stacy-Marie Ishmael and BBC’s Mobile Editor Nathalie Malinarich opened the day with an honest discussion about what creating mobile news means in their newsrooms and how they built and relaunched recent mobile apps at their respective organizations.

Recorded video and speaker resources (ONA members)
Live blog

THE MOBILE-FIRST NEWSROOM

Get a behind-the-scenes look at how two different newsrooms are approaching mobile. The Guardian’s Mobile Wditor Subhajit Banerjee, USA Today’s Managing Editor for Digital / Mobile / Social Patty Michalski and moderator Steve Herrmann, Editor of BBC News Online, share how their newsroom teams are set up, how they use analytics in the newsroom, how they respond to trends and more.

(more…)

Reuters partners with ITN Source to make available rare and previously unseen clips

19 Mar 2015

The digitization of the Reuters archive is currently making hundreds of thousands of rare and largely unseen news clips available to producers and viewers around the world. Reuters, the world’s largest multimedia news provider, and ITNSource, the footage licensing division of leading news and multimedia content provider, ITN, are partnering to preserve this unique material for the benefit of future generations.

To date, over 115,000 Reuters clips have already been digitized and published on itnsource.com, expanding the Reuters digital archive to 450,000 clips and counting.

The three-year project is set to finish in 2016, and the most recently digitized material is available to view here.

Ashley Byford-Bates, Global Head of Reuters Pictures and Archive said: “Having our assets in digital format is critical – this gives our clients and prospects a real opportunity to explore, discover and ‘see’ the footage.

“With over 30,000 hours of content now preserved, we can now focus on the really exciting tasks of enabling the exploitation, utilization and development of new programs, projects and partnerships.”

Footage is being digitized from a number of early cinema newsreels including Paramount and Gaumont British which form part of the Reuters collection, plus footage from 1957 to 2006 which formed the Reuters News syndication service. (more…)

Editor to Editor by Peter Bohan: While you were sleeping

19 Mar 2015

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Greetings,

Like you, no doubt, I sometimes hit the sack early to catch up on my dreams.

But I’m glad to know I have a wire that has me covered. So is CNN.

In Ferguson, the shots came after midnight and the Reuters alert moved at 12:17 a.m. CT, the urgent at 12:35 a.m., and the Update 6 at 5:43 a.m. – just in time for morning coffee and my screen.

A picture says a thousand words:

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Sincerely,

Peter Bohan
Executive Director
Reuters America Service

Reuters-TIMA hits the red carpet at the Oscars

11 Mar 2015

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Martin Veal not only looks sharp in a tuxedo, he also has the mammoth task of overseeing coverage of special events for Reuters-TIMA Location Services. We asked him to keep a diary detailing our coverage of the Oscars, the inaugural event of our partnership.

Friday February 20th

The eyes of the world will be on Los Angeles this weekend as the 87th Academy Awards take place in Hollywood.  Reuters-TIMA Location Services have landed in California and begun to set up the live facilities on site.  This is the exciting culmination of weeks of careful planning and coordination between the Reuters bureau in Los Angeles, and staff in Washington DC and London from both Reuters and TIMA.

Our base in Hollywood this weekend’s far from glamorous. It’s a trailer sitting in a car park behind the scenes, but it means we have everything we need close at hand. Over the day the parking lot fills up with identical trailers and satellite uplink trucks, as well as catering and bathroom facilities. (more…)

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