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Front-line tragedy - Broadcasting & Cable

Front-line tragedy

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Reporting from the world's danger zones comes with the territory at Associated Press Television News (APTN), a leading supplier of international news for broadcast networks and local stations. The risks that journalists take covering civil wars, international conflicts and violence around the globe was underscored in May by the death of APTN producer and cameraman Miguel Gil Moreno de Mora.

Gil Moreno de Mora, 32, was killed in West Africa by Sierra Leone rebels, who were also responsible for the death of Reuters correspondent Kurt Schork. Both were with a group of journalists that were ambushed by the rebels.

"We probably shall not see his like again,'' says Nigel Baker, APTN head of news. "Miguel was a man of extraordinary bravery, resourcefulness and talent. His death is a sad loss,'' says Baker. It also demonstrates, very "graphically,'' he adds, that the world's broadcasters and newspapers rely on APTN and others to be on the front line and at the "heart of the story."

Gil Moreno de Mora was dedicated to being on the front line. According to Baker, he was the only Western TV cameraman to get into Grosny when the Russians were bombarding the city. Apparently, Gil Moreno de Mora walked overland by night for several days to get into Grosny and repeated the journey to get out. In Kosovo, he was the only international cameraman to remain in Pristina when the NATO bombing began. Those were his images that were used by just about every TV network around the world.

An award-winning cameraman, Gil Moreno de Mora had only been in the business since 1995. He was a corporate lawyer in Spain, who left that profession behind when he joined what was then APTV in Sarajevo. He learned quickly, and it wasn't long before he gained a reputation as an "extremely intelligent and gifted'' cameraman, says Baker.-K.M.

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