Reporter’s Notebook: A great Fox News cameraman says goodbye

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They are photographs that helped make Fox News a existence abroad, when the channel was having begun again home.   

Times soon after Sept. 11, 2001, groundbreaking “online video cell phone” transmissions from Pakistan. A couple months afterwards, a look inside of the caves exactly where Usama bin Laden and his terrorist gang held out. And then, with the 1st rank-and-file U.S. troops on the ground in southern Afghanistan. 

When the War on Terror arrived at Iraq, there ended up strong photographs of burning cars, hideous casualties, gunfire ripping, all from the “tip of the spear” of the military’s “Thunder Run” into Baghdad.     

And, as the Mideast cauldron roiled: Unrest in Gaza, upheaval in West Financial institution, missiles traveling across Israeli borders. 

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The guy behind all those shots and a lot of additional is U.K.-born, Australia-lifted and properly trained, retiring Fox Information cameraman Mal James.  

With Fox News from its early times, he labored first in Hong Kong, then Jerusalem and eventually in London. He is one of the finest photographers around, as very well as a terrific journalist and excellent pal.  

We very first labored alongside one another above 20 yrs in the past in the ethnic battlefield of Kosovo in Europe’s Balkan location. Our upcoming vacation took us to Afghanistan, the previous time the Taliban was working factors. And then, sealing our partnership: a check out to civil war-wracked southern Sudan. 

Mal James holding his camera while on assignment.

Mal James keeping his camera although on assignment.
(Fox News)

Mal had a knack of figuring out where by to flip. No matter if it was having up at dawn to capture a glimpse of North Korea’s “pricey leader” Kim Jong Un, or slipping by a guard to get an within glimpse at the horror of the U.S. consulate in terror-torn Benghazi, Libya. Or, obtaining his way by way of treacherous checkpoints in eastern Ukraine, the initial time Russia targeted the location in 2014.  

All the although, he served portray the hurt, the hungry, the desperate. 

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Mal James received the shot, no subject what – but do not take my word from it. Check with Steve Harrigan when they had been virtually “on the run” in troubled ex-Soviet Union Ga. Or Jennifer Griffin amid the horrors of the tsunami in Thailand. Jonathan Hunt on the politically awful streets of Hong Kong. And Benjamin Corridor, challenging on the path of ISIS terrorists in Syria.  

Mal was a concise shooter. He “edited in the camera.” And when he’d have to edit on a deck, he was one of the fastest all around, often keeping up with the latest transform of speedy-altering electronic engineering.  

He was a purist when it arrived to photos. Ignore about the bells and whistles, it was the shot that mattered, the real truth. 

Mal James with a child while on assignment.

Mal James with a kid while on assignment.
(Fox News)

Mal also realized what it took to get the shot “out.” That is, he manufactured sure the live transmission labored and the pictures were being sent back again to Fox Information headquarters, no make a difference what the circumstances or locale. For Mal, if no one noticed what you did, you didn’t do it.  

(He did joke that his future autobiography would be entitled, “Rooftops and Parking Heaps I Have Known,” a reference to the locations he’d have to find to build a reside shot.)  

Mal did not have considerably patience for press officers whose occupation seemed to be to thwart press protection, or community officials who preferred to maintain things personal.  

Mal James, right, worked for Fox News for decades.

Mal James, appropriate, worked for Fox Information for a long time.
(Fox News)

However, it was not all nasty stuff for Mal. While we never ever acquired to deal with the Chelsea flower exhibit in London (1 of our tongue-in-cheek desires), there had been features on every thing from royalty, to lifetime-preserving COVID-19 vaccines, to a long-in the past solo trip to a Thai island, the scene of the Leonardo DiCaprio film, “The Seaside.” 

He enjoys his family members, his kids, his puppy, his beloved “footie” (soccer for us Yanks) and each individual episode of “The Sopranos.” 

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When all is said and carried out, Mal was superior at acquiring lousy things on the air, from war to terror to famine to avenue brawls. We’re all far better informed mainly because of it. 

Have a good following chapter!



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