10/11/2005

Kevin Sites in the Hot Zone - A Web exclusive From Yahoo! News

Declaration of Principles

Kevin Sites in the Hot Zone is news reporting for the new millennium - a nexus of backpack journalism, narrative story-telling techniques, and the Internet, designed to reach a global audience hungry for information.



Our Mission and Goals
To cover every armed conflict* in the world within one year, and in doing so to provide a clear idea of the combatants, victims, causes, and costs of each of these struggles - and their global impact. With honest, thoughtful reporting we'll strive to establish Kevin Sites in the Hot Zone as a forum for information and involvement. Users will not only learn about the scope of world conflict, but will find ways to be part of the solutions- through dialogue, debate, and avenues for action.

Veteran war correspondent Kevin Sites will travel solo to these conflict zones, aided by a U.S.-based "mission control" team: Producer Robert Padavick (NBC News, CNN) and Researcher Lisa Liu (Radio Free Asia, International Medical Corps).

Using the latest technology, including high-definition digital cameras and satellite modems, Kevin will deliver stories via a five-fingered multimedia platform of text, photography, video, audio, and interactive chat - all available on one website (http://hotzone.yahoo.com).

As Yahoo!'s first news correspondent, Sites will spend the next year covering every major global conflict for Kevin Sites in the Hot Zone on Yahoo! News. These areas of conflict are typically left uncovered or under-reported by mainstream news organizations. The goal of this project is to bring these important stories to Yahoo!'s global audience of nearly 400 million users.

In November 2004, Sites became a flashpoint of controversy for one of the biggest stories of the current Iraqi war, when as an NBC News correspondent he videotaped a U.S. Marine shooting a wounded Iraqi insurgent in a Fallujah mosque. After the video's airing, Sites was both praised as a journalist willing to reveal the harsh realities of war - and vilified as a traitor to both the Marine unit in which he was embedded and to his country.

Sites' controversial and award-winning war blog, www.kevinsites.net, was one of the first to combine text, digital images, and audio to provide readers with an intimate, behind-the-lines look at the war in Iraq and how it was being covered.

In 2004, Sites was honored with the Payne Award for ethics in journalism for both his television and Web coverage of the mosque shooting. He was also recently nominated for a national Emmy Award for the same story. Wired magazine named Sites as the recipient of their RAVE Award - the first ever for blogging.

As a CNN correspondent, Sites and his team were captured by Saddam Hussein's Fedayeen militia while attempting to be the first western journalists to reach Tikrit during the initial invasion of Iraq. They were threatened with death - until their brave Kurdish translator negotiated their release after a day in captivity.

He also spent nearly sixth months in Afghanistan, covering the Northern and Eastern Alliance forces before and after the fall of the Taliban. He shot some of the earliest video of ground combat there, including the first American casualty - a journalist wounded during a Taliban mortar attack.

Sites has made several trips to Colombia, covering U.S. anti-drug efforts, including coca-spraying operations and the training of the Colombian government's Jungle Commandos. Sites also reported from ground zero in Banda Aceh, Indonesia, in the aftermath of the recent Southeast Asia tsunami.

As a producer for NBC News, he received an Edward R. Murrow Award for coverage of the Kosovo war and was nominated for a national Emmy Award for contributions to a series on landmines.

During a two-year sabbatical, he served as broadcast lecturer at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo and was named Distinguished Lecturer by the California Faculty Association. While there, he initiated a joint research project with Xybernaut Inc. to modify wearable computers for solo digital reporting.

He has worked in local, cable and network news, including ABC's "This Week with David Brinkley." Additionally, he has published numerous articles in newspapers and magazines, including Popular Science, BlackBook, and The New Times. Sites has a master's degree from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.

When not on assignment in a Hot Zone, Sites, a native of Geneva, Ohio, makes his home in Southern California.

"We strongly believe, as stated in the preamble of this code, "that public enlightenment is the forerunner of justice and the foundation of democracy."

Kevin Sites in the Hot Zone From Yahoo! News

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