CBS News executives announced today that they have hired Mandy Clark, a former video journalist for Voice of America News, as the network’s digital journalist to be stationed in Afghanistan.
Back in April, we wrote about various news organizations shifting their resources overseas from Baghdad to Afghanistan. At the time, Paul Friedman, a senior vice president for CBS News, told us that the previous fall, CBS had engaged in discussions with other networks, including NBC News, about the possibility of opening a joint facility in Kabul.
“We have all known for months that the focus was shifting from Iraq to Afghanistan,” said Mr. Friedman at the time. “We’ve all budgeted for it, and we’re all trying to figure out how best to get it done.”
Stationing a nimble, digital journalist—or so-called one-man band—in Afghanistan will no doubt help the network better cover the region in the months ahead.
At the same time, the move provides further evidence that the broadcast news divisions are undergoing a major shift in how they cover news overseas. Out: large, permanent bureaus. In: digital journalists armed with laptops and small cameras, who can report, shoot and edit their own video, while moving in and out of regions quickly.
“The old model no longer applies,” Mr. Friedman told us back in January. “You do not need a massive infrastructure, as long as you can mobilize people quickly when the story develops.”
To date, ABC News has been the most aggressive at investing in the new model. In October 2007, the news network announced that it was hiring seven digital journalists to report for the network overseas. The program has since expanded.
With the hiring of Ms. Clark, CBS News would appear to be exploring a similar model. “Mandy has done great work from the field in all conditions and we are pleased that she is joining CBS News,” said Mr. Friedman in today’s release. “Mandy is intrepid and her wealth of experience reporting from the Middle East, Central Asia and elsewhere and her adroit use of technology, make her a terrific addition.”