Wednesday, July 26, 2006

The Word is LIVE

Qiryat Shmona , Northern Israel
26 July 2005

Television News has changed over the decades, in the days of Vietnam coverage would be delayed by up to 7 days for footage to go from the lens to the Evening News bulletins. The concept of watching war live did not come into its realm until the last Iraq War a few years back with the advent of videophones and vehicular systems. I remember talking to my mother from deserts of Iraq and all she could mention was how incredible it was to watch a war on the other side of the world live on her TV.

Last week up her on the Israel Lebanon border we had set up to broadcast Bill Hemmers’ show 11.00 am to 1 pm Eastern Time. Which is right on dusk here, we had a microwave link from the border to the Production Company base in Qiryat Shmona ( 6 miles from the border) then a fibre optic link to Jerusalem before being looped onto the satellite and back to New York.

Just as we started broadcasting the Israelis started shelling the village in Lebanon about a km from the camera and the hills were covered in shells landing, the Hezbollah then started to return shell and we could see the three plumes on the ridge as they fired.

It is hard to explain how you can get used to the sound of war, because more than anything it is the sound that makes you nervous, I have stopped answering the question is that incoming or out going, when you are live on a ridge watching war unfold, you are to busy trying to make it flow and give the shows a sense of involvement and drama.

Because war is drama and reality together, I am but the eyes.

Yesterday again was an incredible rush of events as bomb after bomb was dropped by the Israeli Air Force on the next ridge line from us, we now think that one of the bombs dropped killed the 4 UN Peacekeepers not to mention numbers of Hezbollah Soldiers.

At one point the skyline was a row of mushroom clouds of smoke and dust blooms, and at the bottom off the frame was the town we are staying in and my hotel. Lets just say that wake up calls can be noisy


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