New technology showcases new media outlets

Just as multimedia technology is breaking the walls of location reporting, it’s also redefining the nature of media outlets—sometimes more so than established news organizations desire.

As the conflict began in Iraq, CNN ordered Sites to cease reporting on his blog.

Take CNN correspondent Kevin Sites, a pioneering backpack war journalist, who works both alone and with the traditional facilities of his news organization. Sites is one of an increasing number of journalists using a personal web log (popularly called “blogs”) to offer a direct back channel around CNN to his followers.

“Blogs” allow journalists to say whatever they like without the editorial gatekeepers of traditional media organizations, and have become a popular source of “unfiltered” information during the war. However, as the conflict began in Iraq, CNN ordered Sites to cease reporting on his blog.

Sites offered this final message to his readers at

“I've been asked to suspend my war blogging for awhile.

But I don't want to let you down—I'm chronicling the events of my war experiences, the same as I always have, and hope to come to agreement with CNN in the near future to make them available to you in some shape or form, perhaps on this site."

However, just after midnight on March 17, before CNN pulled the plug, Sites was able to report some of his pre-war technical problems on the blog:

“Sorry I can't be more active posting right now. We're in hell technologically right now. Probs with videophone and net connections, as well as satellite phone service. There are so many people using sat-phones in the region, it creates huge congestion. We (CNN) filed a package yesterday from Halabja on the 15th anniversary of the chemical weapons attack against the Kurds there, and had big f-ups with audio. Plus, time is bearing down on us, with the President expected to speak tonight. Some journos are speculating that the war could start by the end of the week. I'll try to post more for you soon -- as we sort this out.”

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