CNN implements digital newsgathering

After a pilot scheme in its New Delhi bureau, CNN International has rolled out a digital newsgathering system to its 28 international bureaux.

The technology, developed by company engineers, enables correspondents to edit, compress and transmit live pictures from a single laptop.

Three trained specialist video correspondents, Alphonso Van Marsh, Ryan Chilcote and former freelance Karl Penhaul, have been given a roaming brief to cover global news, demonstrating the benefits of the system.

Most recently it was used during the coverage of the capture of Saddam Hussein, the Bam earthquake and the revolution in Georgia, The company also announced this week the appointment of staff to its Middle East and Asian bureaux following a review by managing director Chris Cramer. Guy Raz, formerly of NPR’s London bureau, has joined the company as Jerusalem correspondent, while Atlanta-based Octavia Nasr, who has worked for CCN for 14 years, has been promoted to senior editor for Arab affairs.

In Asia, Martin Soong has joined CNN’s regional presenting team in Hong Kong to anchor news and report from across the region. He previously worked for four years at CNBC Asia as news editor and anchor.

Cramer said: “By pioneering this technology and hiring the best journalists from around the world, CNN continues to be what all the competition strives to be: editorially sound and commercially strong.”

The appointments follow a restructuring of CNN’s production operations, which resulted in the redundancies of nine out of the 50 staff in the Hong Kong bureau.

A CNN spokeswoman denied the digital newsgathering system was part of the streamlining. “It’s about pioneering technology and adding to the newsgathering capabilities. It has nothing to do with cutbacks,” she said.

By Sarah Boden

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