CNN’s Sara Sidner has become part of the story in Mumbai, India. The attractive reporter has been at the forefront of news coverage, much of it in front of the besieged and terrorist-occupied Taj Mahal Palace. Sidner has been seen reporting calmly and professionally throughout, even after ducking when an explosion occurred directly behind her from inside the Taj Mahal. After a quick “Okay,” Sidner resumed reporting as if nothing had occurred.
There was also an incident where a mob of onlookers, apparently growing outraged at the media coverage of the tragic events unfolding throughout the city, blocked Sara Sidner’s camera and effectively forced them to stop reporting for several moments. Sidner later recalled that she wasn’t fearful but the crowd had been rather insistent that they stop videotaping.
Sara Sidner has been the very definition of ‘grace under fire’ throughout this tragic ordeal. And she has been noticed by a growing number of people as reports continue to come out of Mumbai, the site of several terrorist attacks and ongoing hostage situations for the past two days. At present, the death toll stands at 160, with at least 327 wounded, according to CNN News.
Although many are unfamiliar with Sara Sidner’s work, she had 12 years of journalistic experience before moving to CNN. She was with KTVU in Oakland, California, before signing on with CNN to become their New Delhi-based correspondent in charge of covering India and Southeast Asia. Her work has resulted in several awards, including the Edward R. Murrow award, Regional Emmy award and Associated Press award. She has been nominated for four Emmys. Previous to working in the San Francisco Bay area, Sidner worked for stations in Florida, Texas, and Missouri.
At KTVU, Sara Sidner was both an anchor and a reporter. She covered the 2004 U. S. presidential election from Washington, D.C. as well as the Asian tsunami at year’s end, which she reported on from Sri Lanka. Sidner also was involved in covering the story of the stranded family of hikers in the Sierra Nevada mountains that garnered national media attention.
Sara Sidner is a telecommunications graduate of the University of Florida.
With the increased interest in Sara Sidner being generated by her live reports from Mumbai, there can be little doubt that her star will be on the ascendant. This is a common occurrence once reporters have captured the public’s eye.
Bernard Shaw and Wolf Blitzer of CNN became worldwide celebrities with their live reports from Baghdad during the Persian Gulf War in 1991. Reporting from their Baghdad hotel room with images of anti-aircraft tracers lighting the night sky gave viewers the sense of immediate danger and what it was like to be inside a city being attacked in real time. Bernard Shaw and Wolf Blitzer both became prominent anchors, partially due to their increased recognition during those acclaimed reports.
Fox News’ Shepard Smith became a household name after his impassioned reporting from the center of the tragic events of Hurricane Katrina for Fox News in 2005. Smith now the solo anchor of “Fox Report,” which is the number one cable news program for its time slot.
(As this report was written (1:30 p.m. EST), Sara Sidner reported from in front of the Taj Mahal Hotel giving an update on the as yet unresolved situation inside the hotel. Indian authorites had blacked out her cameras. About one hour earlier, Sidner reported live on air that she had just heard two shots fired from within the Taj Mahal.)