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

Maria J. Smith

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They are photographs that served make Fox Information a existence abroad, when the channel was acquiring begun back property.   

Days immediately after Sept. 11, 2001, groundbreaking “online video telephone” transmissions from Pakistan. A several months afterwards, a look within the caves wherever Usama bin Laden and his terrorist gang held out. And then, with the to start with rank-and-file U.S. troops on the ground in southern Afghanistan. 

When the War on Terror arrived at Iraq, there were being robust shots of burning cars and trucks, 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 Bank, missiles flying across Israeli borders. 

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The man powering these pictures and many extra is U.K.-born, Australia-raised and trained, retiring Fox News cameraman Mal James.  

With Fox News from its early days, he worked to start with in Hong Kong, then Jerusalem and lastly in London. He is one of the finest photographers close to, as effectively as a terrific journalist and great pal.  

We 1st worked with each other in excess of 20 decades in the past in the ethnic battlefield of Kosovo in Europe’s Balkan region. Our future vacation took us to Afghanistan, the past time the Taliban was running items. And then, sealing our partnership: a check out to civil war-wracked southern Sudan. 

Mal James holding his camera while on assignment.

Mal James holding his digital camera when on assignment.
(Fox Information)

Mal had a knack of realizing where by to change. Whether or not it was receiving up at dawn to capture a glimpse of North Korea’s “pricey chief” Kim Jong Un, or slipping by a guard to get an inside of seem at the horror of the U.S. consulate in terror-torn Benghazi, Libya. Or, obtaining his way via treacherous checkpoints in japanese Ukraine, the very first time Russia targeted the location in 2014.  

All the while, he served portray the wounded, the hungry, the determined. 

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Mal James obtained the shot, no make a difference what – but never get my term from it. Question Steve Harrigan when they ended up pretty much “on the run” 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 Corridor, challenging on the path of ISIS terrorists in Syria.  

Mal was a concise shooter. He “edited in the camera.” And when he’d have to edit on a deck, he was just one of the fastest all around, usually keeping up with the hottest convert of quickly-modifying electronic know-how.  

He was a purist when it came to pictures. Forget about the bells and whistles, it was the shot that mattered, the truth. 

Mal James with a child while on assignment.

Mal James with a kid although on assignment.
(Fox Information)

Mal also realized what it took to get the shot “out.” That is, he designed confident the dwell transmission labored and the pictures had been sent back to Fox News headquarters, no matter what the situations or locale. For Mal, if no a single saw what you did, you did not do it.  

(He did joke that his long term autobiography would be entitled, “Rooftops and Parking Loads I Have Acknowledged,” a reference to the locations he’d have to request to establish a stay shot.)  

Mal did not have considerably persistence for press officers whose work appeared to be to thwart push coverage, or general public officials who liked to hold factors private.  

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

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

Nonetheless, it was not all terrible things for Mal. While we in no way acquired to address the Chelsea flower show in London (a single of our tongue-in-cheek desires), there were options on every little thing from royalty, to everyday living-preserving COVID-19 vaccines, to a extended-ago solo trip to a Thai island, the scene of the Leonardo DiCaprio motion picture, “The Beach front.” 

He enjoys his relatives, his little ones, his canine, 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 acquiring lousy stuff on the air, from war to terror to famine to avenue brawls. We’re all improved informed for the reason that of it. 

Have a great up coming chapter!

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