Best Reporting in Television and/or Radio 1957

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Award Date: 
Award Name: 
* Best Reporting for TV Spot News (1979-1949)
Award Recipient: 
Frank Kearns, Yussef Masraff
Award Recipient Affiliation: 
Award Honored Work: 
Coverage of Algeria.

Excerpt from the 1958 Dateline:


Algeria Aflame

“Saturday, July 13th- We will have to wear uniforms, it seems; otherwise, the Algerian rebel unites, or the Algerian villagers, might shoot us. This seems logical, we agree. Then we’re asked, what kind of arms do you want? Rifle, revolver, sub-machine gun, or what? Here, we disagree. We’re journalists, not soldiers; we’re foreigners, not Algerians; we’re reporters, not partisans. One of the men points out that the French don’t acknowledge this as war; therefore, there’s no such thing as a war correspondent. Besides, he adds, if they start shooting close, you can hardly defend yourself with a press card. He has a point. But we insist, no arms; uniforms, okay; but no arms.”

Thus Frank Kearns, Columbia Broadcasting System correspondent, opens his diary of a harrowing assignment with CBS cameraman Yousef Masraff into the rugged interior of Algeria for a television report on the Algerian rebel army. For the resulting team effort, “Algeria Aflame,” Kearns and Masraff were named for the “best radio or television reporting from abroad” during

“Wednesday, August 7- For the Algerians, this is strictly a war in the dark, a war of individuals, fighting exactly like Indians, against one of the most modern armies in the world…It’s a night time war of rifles against artillery, of mules against trucks and half-tracks, of camouflage against air attack.”

Rebellion with its sudden bloody street clashes, its flashing murderous ambushes, its cruel attrition, is not new to Frank Kearns. Just a year ago he won an Overseas Press Club citation of excellence for his reporting from strife-torn Cyprus.

Masraff, an Egyptian national, went to Algeria without a passport, visa or the credentials normally possessed by a newsman covering a war. He did so knowing that he would probably be shot if caught. Plagued by illness, Masraff lost some 25 pounds during the month in the mountains. But he came out with 10,000 feet of film, vividly telling in sound and pictures, the story of the rebel side of the four-year struggle in Algeria. 

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