High Risk, High Reward: Reporting from the Central African Republic feat. Cynthia McFadden
June 6, 2019 12:30 PM
Location: First Amendment Lounge
On Thursday, June 6, at 1 p.m., the International Correspondents Committee is hosting “High Risk, High Reward: Reporting from the Central African Republic”. The event will be featuring award-winning NBC News correspondent Cynthia McFadden, UNICEF-USA President Caryl Stern, and UN Foundation Vice President Peter Yeo. Lunch will be available at 12:30.
In March, NBC News aired a 4-minute piece on the challenges children face in the Central African Republic. While four minutes of coverage on such a huge issue may seem trivial, it comprised one-fifth of the broadcast that night and represented the first time that an American broadcast team visited the war-torn nation in five years.
The correspondent, Cynthia McFadden, toured CAR with Caryl Stern, the head of UNICEF-USA as Stern took her to a hospital and orphanage for children and remote refugee camps. The report discussed starvation and illness, showing children in dire need of care and even basic nutrition. But McFadden and Stern also discussed efforts to provide sustenance and provided success stories resulting from international aid efforts.
In an era where few American broadcast news outlets have foreign bureaus, such international reporting has become less ubiquitous.
However, McFadden’s story had an unexpected result: more than $1.5 million was donated to UNICEF after it aired. This was a particular point of pride for the NBC News President, who, according to Poynter, wrote in a memo to staff, “I hope this serves as a powerful reminder to everyone that our work every day makes a profound difference.”
McFadden has said it exemplifies what journalism is intended to do.
“The goal of the work is to ultimately make a difference. I don’t want anyone to be able to say they don’t know,” she told Glamour Magazine. “If we turn our backs on these people, we do it knowingly now. We know what’s happening.”
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