Contacts help Sky News' Alex Crawford scoop rivals on rebel advance into Tripoli


Alex Crawford could be in line for a fourth Royal Television Society (RTS) journalist of the year award if plaudits garnered by her coverage in Libya are anything to by.

Earlier this year the Sky News special correspondent was named television journalist of the year at the RTS awards for the second year running – the third time she has collected the honour – when she was praised for her ‘tremendous enterprise”, ‘remarkable personal courage”, and her the ability to ‘work under sustained pressure in dangerous places”.

Those qualities were on display over the weekend when Crawford and her team – which included cameramen Garwen Mclukie and Jim Foster, and producer Andy Marsh – reported live from a rebel convoy heading into central Tripoli.

She later appeared in the City’s Green Square when, as the Daily Telegraph has noted, she appeared to be the only western reporter at the scene.

The Telegraph also describes how Crawford and her team gathered the ‘astonishing’footage using only an ‘Apple Mac Pro laptop computer connected to a mini-satellite dish that was charged by a car cigarette lighter socket”.

The Guardian, meanwhile, said Crawford’s coverage meant Sky had ’emerged as the runaway winner in the battle of the broadcasters”, adding that ‘while journalists from the BBC and other networks were contained within the city’s Rixos Hotel by armed guards loyal to Gadaffi, Alex Crawford… scooped all her rivals by broadcasting dramatic live footage from within the advancing rebel convoy.”

Sky News head of international news Sarah Whitehead told the paper that key to her success were the contacts she had made in the western town of Zawiyah in March.

Crawford and deputy foreign editor Tim Miller were the only western journalists in the rebel-held town as it came under attack from pro-Gaddafi forces.

Today’s Guardian report said: ‘Crawford returned to Zawiyah on Saturday, as it was retaken by the rebels, and was able to re-establish contact with those she had met months earlier, securing passage with them on to Tripoli.”

Whitehead said this ‘stood us in good stead with the rebels”.

Meanwhile, the BBC has posted footage of correspondent Rupert Wingfield-Hayes accompanying rebels into the centre of Tripoli when the vehicle he was travelling in came under attack from pro-Gaddafi forces.


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