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Reuters Video: Going viral

From protests in Beirut, Coronavirus to a shooting in Germany, Reuters capture the events that make news.
REUTERS/Ali Hashisho
By Yann Tessier | 28 Jan, 2020

January has rocketed by, and we have certainly entered the new decade with a bang. A turbulent start to 2020: the Lebanon continues to rock under increasingly violent protests in Beirut; China attempts to quarantine a new strain of a deadly virus, and; Germany reels in the aftermath of a deadly shooting. 

So, what have our journalists been up to this week?

Going Viral

A sobering week the world over, the rise of the Coronavirus has been a brutal reminder that computer viruses are nowhere near as bad as it gets- viruses kill. As Chinese authorities rush to quarantine the virus, Reuters Journalists covered the story as it unfolded. 

We distinguished ourselves by covering the World Health Organisation news conference live when others were not – a feather in our caps, and our customers valued the speed and quality of our output. Our coverage was extremely popular amongst our customers and was shared globally, enabling broadcasters and publishers to share real time insights into this unfolding tragedy.   

Due to significant health risks, it has been impossible for journalists who live outside of central China to enter the country. As a result, Reuters are employing agile techniques to maintain our coverage. Thanks our brave colleagues in China, stringers and UGC footage, we have gained unparalleled access to some of the worst hit areas, including compelling scenes of a crowded hospitals in Wuhan.

Impeachment Probe

Whilst the coverage surrounding the impeachment of US President Donald Trump is far from exclusive, given the sheer density and uniformity of the footage, Reuters has distinguished itself from the herd by providing high quality curated content. 

Our content was selected by customers the world over- and in the USA- to tell the story behind the impeachment. The reason? Reuters carefully selects material to package and make it accessible to clients, and interesting to audiences. 

Across the first week of the Senate’s impeachment investigation, key elements were delivered rapidly and tidily; those clients who did not have the time or resource to trawl through hours of live video knew they could rely on Reuters to provide the coverage they needed and expedite their delivery.

As the Royals rock, Reuters are on a roll…

Reuters coverage of the royal saga remains as popular as ever, and has been used worldwide. Thanks to the skill of our journalists, Reuters has dominated Royal coverage; our competitors haven’t been able to keep up with the quality of coverage or the speed of delivery. 

Our curated coverage of this news story has really resonated with our clients: timeline footage has been incredibly popular with broadcasters, as we have laid out the key steps underpinning the ongoing drama.  

Germany Shooting

The shooting of six people by a 26 year old man has rocked Germany. As the grisly details of the homicide emerged, Reuters were 30 minutes ahead of other news agencies, delivering the first images from the scene, providing our customers with unrivalled access to the deadly crime scene.

Protest in Beirut…

Heavily armed and often violent riot police and hundreds of youthful protesters may not be everyone’s idea of work environment, but they have become a mainstay for the Reuters visuals journalists chronicling the fallout from the worst economic crisis to hit the country in decades.

“There’s this strange form of connection between us, the riot police and the protesters,” says Issam Abdallah, a Reuters journalist who has been covering protests against the country’s ruling elite since October 2019.

Issam’s work environment is underscored by the acrid taste of burning tyres, and stings with tear gas. For the last three months, Issam and his team have navigated the ongoing riots to bring audiences compelling insight into the clash.  

Footage of the crazed ballet between police and protesters has been seen by hundreds of millions of people worldwide on the news programmes of television stations that take Reuters news video.

“We’re constantly surprised by the innovation of the protesters. Recently, they’ve started using fireworks.” Issam says. From afar, the fireworks have lent a touch of colour to the violent protests.

What began as a protest against a range of tax increases has mushroomed into a more diffuse movement against the political elite and the cost of living, corruptions and a host of other societal ills.

The Reuters Beirut office is very close to the protests – and has on several occasions had to evacuate. But that hasn’t stopped coverage – our visuals operation simply moved into a car. “Our producer Yara Abi Nader spent the night working out of that car last weekend, while text colleague Ellen Francis filed from the backseat,” says Ayat Basma, our Chief Producer in Lebanon.

Recently, protesters have taken to attacking ATMs, a symbol of banks’ refusal or inability to part with anything more than a handful of dollars out of clients’ accounts.

For Issam, 33, it’s a strange feeling covering these events in a city he grew up in. “You feel a mix of emotions: adrenaline, sure,’’ he says. ‘’But sometimes you’re scared. ‘’

“You have to know when to move and when to stop: to get in, get the substance of the action and then move away,” he says. 

Interviewing protesters is an experience of its own. “You interview one, and then everybody wants to talk, everyone wants a voice,” he says.