March 14, 2003

In His Own Blog

As mentioned last week, Kevin Sites, CNN reporter in Kuwait, has been sending emails to those of us back “home” on his personal reflections around the Persian Gulf.

Kevin has now set up his own blog so we can keep current with his “first-person account of a news correspondent’s life on the front lines.” Not only is he blogging in the traditional sense, he’s audio blogging, calling in posts via his mobile phone.

Today’s post comes from Tehran as he and seven others from CNN, a mix of camera people, satellite engineers, producers, and reporters, prepare for a ten hour trip to the border with Kurdish-occupied Iraq. Here’s a snippet:

As we pack up our gear, I cross the street in front of the small Iranian apartment building where we were staying, to shoot some video, a wide shot of the truck and bus. Out of the corner of my eye, I see a man come out of a small convenience store, carrying a beautiful black rooster. He gently places it below the curb on the busy street. With a box cutter he cuts off its head. The lump of its body pulsates like a heart for a few moments as little puddle of crimson spreads across the pebbled asphalt. The rooster’s cockscomb lying close by.

With his hand, the man then wipes some of the rooster’s blood on the front panel of his white car. A smear of red with a few feathers stuck to it. Our fixer tells me this is sometimes done when someone buys a car—a blood christening, he says, for road safety, for good luck while driving. “Not very lucky, however, for the rooster,” I say. But still we ask the man to smear a little on our blue pickup. As we begin our journey, we think, maybe we should have done the bus as well.

Good journey, Kevin. Catch’ya later…

• • •

Update: After Kevin’s boss, CNN, found out about his blog, they asked him to stop posting to it. His last entry is March 21. But the use of blogs to report the news is making news around the world. Anil Dash has created a blog which is tracking mentions of Kevin’s site and how others are using the medium to pass on newsworthy war information.

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