Internet media company Yahoo Inc on Monday said it had hired a veteran war correspondent to tell personalized tales from conflicts around the world in a bid to bring younger viewers back into the news fold.
Journalist Kevin Sites, whose video footage of a U.S. Marine shooting dead an unarmed Iraqi prisoner in a Falluja mosque last year prompted widespread controversy, will visit 31 conflict zones, from Africa to the Middle East and South America.
He will file text entries, photos and video footage for his show, “Kevin Sites in the Hot Zone.” Coverage will focus on the individual stories of people caught in conflict.
The venture combines war reporting, first person journalism and adventure in what Yahoo executives hope will add a distinctive stamp to news it gathers from wire services, newspapers and other organizations across the Internet.
“I’d say the toughest audience to get right now in news is the 18-to-34 year olds — almost all of the network and cable news programs skew older than 50,” Lloyd Braun, head of Yahoo’s media group, told Reuters.
“I think that younger demographic is going to find this appealing,” he said. “There is a strong desire among that generation to feel like there is transparency, that they themselves have a voice they can express.”
Sites, 42, will write and shoot the news on his own, with a backpack full of recording and transmission gear, but will make use of local translators and security staff on the ground, Yahoo executives said.