December 8, 2022

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

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They are visuals that served make Fox Information a presence overseas, when the channel was acquiring started off back dwelling.   

Times following Sept. 11, 2001, pioneering “video cell phone” transmissions from Pakistan. A several months later, a look inside of the caves where Usama bin Laden and his terrorist gang held out. And then, with the first rank-and-file U.S. troops on the ground in southern Afghanistan. 

When the War on Terror attained Iraq, there had been strong photographs of burning vehicles, hideous casualties, gunfire ripping, all from the “tip of the spear” of the military’s “Thunder Operate” into Baghdad.     

And, as the Mideast cauldron roiled: Unrest in Gaza, upheaval in West Lender, missiles traveling throughout Israeli borders. 

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The person at the rear of all those photographs and several additional is U.K.-born, Australia-lifted and trained, retiring Fox News cameraman Mal James.  

With Fox Information from its early days, he worked to start with in Hong Kong, then Jerusalem and last but not least in London. He is one of the very best photographers close to, as perfectly as a great journalist and superior close friend.  

We initial worked alongside one another over 20 several years ago in the ethnic battlefield of Kosovo in Europe’s Balkan area. Our following journey took us to Afghanistan, the very last time the Taliban was functioning points. And then, sealing our partnership: a pay a visit to to civil war-wracked southern Sudan. 

Mal James holding his camera while on assignment.

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

Mal had a knack of recognizing exactly where to switch. No matter whether it was obtaining up at dawn to capture a glimpse of North Korea’s “expensive leader” Kim Jong Un, or slipping by a guard to get an inside of glimpse at the horror of the U.S. consulate in terror-torn Benghazi, Libya. Or, acquiring his way via treacherous checkpoints in eastern Ukraine, the initial time Russia specific the area in 2014.  

All the whilst, he assisted portray the wounded, the hungry, the desperate. 

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Mal James bought the shot, no make a difference what – but never consider my phrase from it. Check with Steve Harrigan when they have been actually “on the operate” in troubled ex-Soviet Union Georgia. Or Jennifer Griffin amid the horrors of the tsunami in Thailand. Jonathan Hunt on the politically awful streets of Hong Kong. And Benjamin Hall, challenging on the path of ISIS terrorists in Syria.  

Mal was a concise shooter. He “edited in the digital camera.” And when he’d have to edit on a deck, he was just one of the fastest all around, normally retaining up with the newest switch of quick-changing electronic technological know-how.  

He was a purist when it came to illustrations or photos. Forget about the bells and whistles, it was the shot that mattered, the truth of the matter. 

Mal James with a child while on assignment.

Mal James with a youngster though on assignment.
(Fox News)

Mal also understood what it took to get the shot “out.” That is, he made sure the live transmission worked and the visuals ended up despatched again to Fox News headquarters, no make any difference what the situations or locale. For Mal, if no one particular observed what you did, you didn’t do it.  

(He did joke that his upcoming autobiography would be entitled, “Rooftops and Parking Plenty I Have Recognised,” a reference to the destinations he’d have to look for to create a reside shot.)  

Mal did not have significantly endurance for press officers whose job seemed to be to thwart press coverage, or general public officers who appreciated to maintain issues private.  

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

Mal James, appropriate, labored for Fox Information for many years.
(Fox News)

Still, it was not all terrible things for Mal. While we hardly ever obtained to go over the Chelsea flower display in London (one of our tongue-in-cheek goals), there were being functions on every little thing from royalty, to existence-preserving COVID-19 vaccines, to a extensive-in the past solo trip to a Thai island, the scene of the Leonardo DiCaprio movie, “The Beach.” 

He loves his spouse and children, his little ones, his pet dog, his beloved “footie” (soccer for us Yanks) and every single episode of “The Sopranos.” 

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When all is claimed and completed, Mal was very good at receiving negative things on the air, from war to terror to famine to avenue brawls. We’re all better educated for the reason that of it. 

Have a good upcoming chapter!



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