Yahoo News' Original Content To Focus On America

After a year of reporting about wars around the world, Yahoo correspondent Kevin Sites will do features about untold American stories.

K.C. Jones, Contributor

September 15, 2006

2 Min Read

Yahoo News plans to continue providing original reporting and multi-media news from Kevin Sites, who just finished a yearlong project covering global conflict for the Hot Zone.

Sites, a veteran war correspondent, circled the globe to cover 22 major conflicts and 19 countries in one year. He provided exclusive video feed, blogs, and stories about people and issues in Africa, the Middle East and beyond.

Kevin Sites in the Hot Zone represented a major shift in Yahoo News' approach to delivering news. Until last year's announcement of the feature, the company functioned solely as a content aggregator, posting articles from more than 100 outlets. The company said its goal was to change the way news is delivered.

While practicing backpack journalism, Sites earned the Los Angeles Press Club's 2006 Daniel Pearl Award for Courage and Integrity in Journalism. The press club stated that Sites was the first online journalist to receive the award, named in honor of the former Wall Street Journal reporter who was abducted and beheaded in January of 2002, while on assignment in Pakistan.

Sites said through a blog entry this week that the Yahoo News project felt "evolutionary and revolutionary."

"We used some of the latest digital equipment to put a human face on global conflict and share it with the world," he said. "But technically, physically and mentally, the process was exhausting both for me, doing the physical coverage, and my Mission Control team of Senior Producer Robert Padavick, Producer Erin Green and Researcher Lisa Liu planning, prepping, packaging and posting our work. From our first conflict zone in Somalia in September 2005 to our last in Israel this August, we had to make changes, improvise, and often work around the clock to try to make the places and the people we've met relevant to you."

Sites said he hoped viewers saw "the strength and resilience of the human spirit" through his coverage of tragedies.

"That is one of the two most important lessons that I believe were revealed to me on this journey," he said. "First, that the world is indeed filled with conflict, pain and suffering, and that amazing people overcome it everyday. And second, that in war, it is not the combatants, but the civilian population that ultimately pays the highest price in death, injury and the legacy of destruction. We raise statues around the world in honor of our war dead, but often forget the innocent civilian victims of conflict."

For the next two months, the Hot Zone will recap the stories Sites covered, while preparing to launch its next phase, which will present untold American stories.

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