By Anthony Collings
Anthony Collings came upon himself in his percentage of inauspicious occasions in his thirty-four years as a newsman. Like being captured by way of AK-47–toting Syrians in Lebanon in 1981 whereas trying to find missiles that threatened a brand new outbreak of hostilities with Israel, or being “detained” via the KGB in Moscow in 1967 in the course of his first overseas posting for the linked Press submitting tales approximately Soviet dissidents.
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Extra resources for Capturing the News: Three Decades of Reporting Crisis and Conflict
Nothing more. If you were an average Soviet citizen you would have no idea what this item referred to, since almost no one knew that Alliluyeva was her married name. (Russians knew that her first name was Svetlana. There was even a perfume named after her. ”) If you were a better-educated Soviet citizen with a bit of savvy, you would know several things: It must refer to someone very important, and whatever that person had done must be very embarrassing to the party. And if you were a better-educated Soviet citizen with a bit of savvy who also had access to an unjammed Western shortwave radio broadcast, you would have known about Stalin’s daughter’s defection to the West while in India and her denunciations of the Soviet system, and then if you happened to come across this microscopic item buried at the bottom of page five of Pravda you would know that the party leadership was furious at what it obviously saw as a betrayal.
More apples from well-wishers. Dawn. Again I shaved outside the car. The daylight hours passed. At last it was late in the afternoon, nearly forty-eight hours since we had first arrived, and a motorcade loomed. This was really it. We and the other journalists from around the world raced to the entrance of the building. I could hear the ABC camera operator complaining about something, but I did not pay much attention. I was focused on witnessing the scene as a car door opened and the short, beefy Walesa with his walrus mustache stepped out holding a bouquet and waving to his friends and neighbors in the crowd.
In one of the hotel rooms we did a “rough cut,” prepared a tape that contained the best pictures, not yet in final edited form but arranged in the right or- Christmas Presents 29 der so that a CNN editor somewhere—Atlanta? —could shorten each shot and drop it into a finished news package. We had the tank, the martiallaw proclamation, and the changing of the guard, as well as street scenes. Next we did a “stand-up”—my on-camera closing commentary. We shot it in the hotel room because we did not want to go outside again and risk arrest.