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CNN's Haiyan experience recalled at HK conference

24 April 2016

Clark (exreme left) and Watson (extreme right) in a huddle with AFP's Mark Levine and Eric Wishart
"We let them down."
That was how Roger Clark, CNN Hong Kong's bureau chief, described how he felt when the network's news crew was stranded in the aftermath of super typhoon Haiyan's onslaught in the Philippines in November 2013.
Clark was speaking at a forum on "Covering Conflict and Disaster" at the Foreign Correspondents' Club in Hong Kong earlier today, Apr. 23.
He recalled how senior correspondent Andrew Stevens and his crew were cut off for days in Tacloban after Haiyan (Yolanda in the Philippines), slammed hard, unleashing a water surge that wiped out the city and left an estimated 10,000 people dead.
Clark said the experience taught them the importance of arming their people sent out to conflict or disaster zones with enough provisions to last for at least three days.
Watson with the 'grab bag'
He, along with CNN's senior international correspondent Ivan Watson then displayed what they called a "grab bag" which reporters on dangerous assignments are made to carry. The black traveling-size bag contains, among other things, mobile phones and battery packs, instant noodles, water purifying tablets,and even tampons.
The two also spoke of how the journalism profession has veered away from its tough, macho image to one that recognizes human frailties and vulnerabilities.
Watson, a veteran war correspondent, admitted to undergoing counseling as a result of the trauma that he's been subjected to in the course of doing his job. - Daisy CL Mandap
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