Kevin Sites bigraphy, stories - American journalist

Kevin Sites : biography


Kevin Sites is an American author and freelance journalist. He has spent nearly a decade covering global wars and disasters for ABC, NBC, CNN, and Yahoo! News. Dubbed by the trade press as the "granddaddy" of backpack journalists, Sites helped blaze the trail for intrepid reporters who work alone, carrying only a backpack of portable digital technology to shoot, write, edit, and transmit multimedia reports from the world's most dangerous places. His first book, In the Hot Zone: One Man, One Year, Twenty Wars (Harper Perennial-October 2007), shares his effort to put a human face on global conflict by reporting from every major war zone in one year.

In 2009, Sites was one of four cast members of the reality television series Expedition Africa on the History channel. The eight-part series followed Sites and three explorers as they retraced the journey of Henry Morton Stanley in his quest to find David Livingstone. It was this journey that allegedly ended with the famous phrase, "Dr. Livingstone, I presume?"

People of the Web

After the Hot Zone project was completed, Sites began working on a domestic feature series profiling the unique voices from the online world, called "People of the Web." A new profile was posted every week until the series was discontinued in 2008.

Background and journalism career

While Sites spent most of his early career producing and reporting for television network news with staff positions at ABC, NBC and CNN, he left the networks for the Internet in 2005, hired by Yahoo! to be its first correspondent for Yahoo! News. He spent one year traveling to all the major war zones in the world, reporting for his web site "Kevin Sites in the Hot Zone", unique at the time for its multi-media mix of text, video and still images in its storytelling.

As a pioneer of the "SoJo" method of solo journalism/video journalism, or backpack journalism, Sites helped to galvanize the idea of the modern, mobile digital correspondent, traveling and reporting without a crew, carrying a backpack of portable digital technology to write, videotape and transmit his multimedia reports.

Sites' assignments have brought him to nearly every region of the world, including Africa, the Middle East, Southeast Asia, Central Asia, South America, and Eastern Europe.

Sites grew up in Ohio and currently lives in Hong Kong. He is now a professor at the Journalism and Media Studies Centre of the University of Hong Kong.

Awards and recognition

Sites was recently selected as a 2010 Nieman Fellow, a prestigious journalism fellowship at Harvard University. In September 2008, Sites was awarded Manchester College's 2008 Innovator of the Year Award. In 2007, Sites won a National Headliner Award for Independent Online Journalism, a Webby for his video coverage of the Israeli-Hezbollah conflict, and a citation of excellence from the Overseas Press Club for best web coverage of international affairs.

Sites was honored with the Payne Award for Ethics in Journalism for the mosque video and was additionally nominated for the national Emmy Award. Sites was also honoured by Wired magazine, receiving the magazine's RAVE Award for his popular blog. He was also awarded the Daniel Pearl Award, for courage and integrity in journalism, by the Los Angeles Press Club in 2006.

Time magazine names the Hot Zone as one of its "50 Coolest Websites", and Forbes magazine listed Sites as one of "The Web Celeb 25", "the biggest, brightest and most influential people on the web today."

He won the Edward R. Murrow Award in 1999 for his contributions to NBC's coverage of the war in Kosovo.

Sites is often cited by former CNN anchor Daryn Kagan in media stories as her inspiration to launch her eponymous web site,

Kevin Sites in the Hot Zone

Living octopus

Living octopus

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