CNN International MD Cramer honoured by NABA

NEW DELHI: CNN International's managing director Chris Cramer will be honoured by the North American Broadcasters Association (NABA) in recognition of his outstanding leadership in the broadcasting industry.

In conjunction with NABA's Annual General Meeting and Conference, to be held on March 6 and 7, in Mexico City,. Cramer will be presented with the Association's International Achievement Award at the Closing Dinner on March 7.

Cramer is recognised for his commitment to the safety and welfare of journalists around the world.

His achievements with BBC and CNN International over the past 40 years have inspired broadcasters worldwide, a CNN press note today said.

In 2007, the United Nations' Security Council has made a resolution demanding that world leaders recognise the importance in ensuring journalistic rights and safety are respected, a resolution that NABA and the World Broadcasting Unions strongly supported.

"We honour the work Mr. Cramer has done and hope that the legacy he has put in place will continue to inspire greater protection for our news personnel overseas and at home," CNN says.

In the early 1990s, as the Persian Gulf War and conflicts in the former Yugoslavia started to exact its toll on the physical and mental welfare of journalists, Cramer became the industries' advocate for both Post Traumatic Stress Disorder counseling and safety training for journalists working in hostile environments.

His advocacy of these causes has seen an industry once based on macho risk-taking and skepticism take a long hard look at itself.

Cramer was instrumental in the creation of INSI, the International News and Safety Institute, which promotes safety training, materials and assistance to journalists and media staff.

Cramer pioneered research into Post Traumatic Stress Disorder for media workers and was honored by the Dart Foundation, which funds the Dart Center for Journalism & Trauma. He is also honorary president of INSI and co-author of Dying to Tell the Story, a tribute to journalists who died during the Iraq War of 2003.

Cramer is retiring as the executive vice president and managing director of CNN International where he has overseen all of CNN's international broadcasting and newsgathering.

"He has enabled CNN to lead the television industry in the development and use of Digital Newsgathering (DNG) and championed other new technologies for newsgathering," the statement eulogised.

"In his quest for efficiency and flexibility of journalists in the field, Mr. Cramer pioneered the use of the revolutionary Toko box for live reports from Kandahar airport on the release of hostages on Millennium eve," CNN further says.

Cramer made the 7E Talking Head and Inmarsat M4 satellite phone available for live coverage. What followed was the launch of BGAN service.

This lightweight, highly portable equipment gave CNN unparalleled coverage options during the Lebanon conflict.

These new technologies have not just released journalists from being tethered to the satellite truck but has allowed them to take back the art of reporting by being "on the spot" and sending back stories while still on the scene. This new technology has also made it safer for journalists to travel.

CNN Feels that Cramer's influence has done much to change the mentality of news organizations to embrace safety and care off staff. His dedication to international journalism, his commitment to the safety of journalists and his support of the use of the latest technology has left its mark on the industry around the world.

The NABA International Achievement Award is presented annually and recognizes individuals who have demonstrated extraordinary leadership in broadcasting and commitment to NABA's goals and principles.

NABA is a non-profit union of the most influential broadcasting organizations throughout North America committed to advancing the interests of broadcasters at home and internationally.

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