The Washington Post

The Libya scramble

The brass at Global­Post had a plan for covering the Libya endgame. They were going to send correspondent James Foley back to the country where he’d been held captive for six weeks earlier this year. He was set to touch down in Libya in mid-September.

Oh well. “Unfortunately, events have overtaken us,” says Global­Post CEO and Cofounder Philip Balboni.

The Global­Post braintrust had strategic reasons for waiting things out a bit longer. “We thought we had more time because...the rebel forces in the west were close but they still had some obstacles to overcome. I don’t think anybody anticipated how fast this came on us.”

Correct: Scrambling was a charitable description for what happened at U.S. TV news outlets on Sunday afternoon as reports of the rebels’ movements trickled in. Most were sucking in the dust left behind by Britain’s Sky News, which had reporter Alex Crawford on the ground and in the thick of the action.

Like most of its competitors, Global­Post has moved quickly to catch up. Cairo-based correspondent Jon Jensen hustled to get in position---he’s now in Libya, making his way to Tripoli. Photographer Tracey Shelton is in transit from Misurata to Tripoli. And Foley is headed there later this week. Said Balboni of the action in the Libyan capital: “I wish we were there now. I wish we were there yesterday.”

Erik Wemple writes the Erik Wemple blog, where he reports and opines on media organizations of all sorts.


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