Going green at the White House
The new CNN set up from the reporters' perspective.
April 24th, 2012
06:29 PM ET

Going green at the White House

CNN has joined some of the other major television networks covering the White House in upgrading its equipment to be a bit more environmentally friendly.

Located on a raised platform along the west edge of the North Lawn are a row of television cameras and stalls where reporters go on TV with the White House in the background. CNN recently installed new Nila brand LED lighting instruments at its location to help illuminate on-air talent when they’re live from the White House North Lawn.

The new lights are bright enough while drawing far less energy than the old HMI (Hydrargyrum medium-arc iodide) lights that were used at the White House for over 20 years.

So next time you see Jessica Yellin, Dan Lothian or Briana Keilar live from the White House you'll now know what they're looking at.

Hurry up and wait!! A behind-the-scenes in travel pool
President Obama with world leaders attending the Open Government Partnership Event at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York
September 21st, 2011
05:15 PM ET

Hurry up and wait!! A behind-the-scenes in travel pool

NEW YORK (CNN) – As President Obama scurries around downtown New York City attending various events for his official visit to the annual United Nations General Assembly, only a handful of journalists are actually right there, to cover his every move – or at least every move the White House will allow. And as usual the theme to the day for the travel pool, especially when the President has a busy schedule, is “hurry up and wait!”

The “travel pool” is a small group of journalists who accompany the President on Air Force One, in the motorcade and to the many events where the entire White House press corps cannot be accommodated. It’s made of representatives from the wires services, still photographers, one print writer/reporter, and a 3-member team representing one of the five U.S. television networks- ABC, CBS, CNN, FOX, and NBC. The travel pool producer is the eyes and ears on the ground for all five networks and shares information in frequent reports back to the rest of the group.

The TV networks have pool responsibilities on a five-day rotation, and Tuesday was CNN’s turn to follow the president.

Reporter's Notebook: How the administration reacted to the crisis in Libya
President Obama greets onlookers outside an Oak Bluffs restaurant on Martha's Vineyard Sunday night.
August 22nd, 2011
06:01 PM ET

Reporter's Notebook: How the administration reacted to the crisis in Libya

(CNN) Martha's Vineyard, MA–Strong words today from President Obama as the situation in Libya deteriorated. "It's clear that Gadhafi's rule is over," the president announced once again calling on the Libyan strongman to step down. But the president cautioned that the situation in Libya remains fluid and his administration continues to monitor "fierce fighting" in some areas.

This on-camera statement from Mr. Obama at his vacation home on Martha's Vineyard ended two days of high-level talks, as well as late night and early morning conference calls with the president’s national security team – all amidst a family vacation.

On Sunday, the CNN team that was part of the White House travel pool gathered in the early morning to follow the president's movements. As the situation in Libya intensified, reporters clamored to find out if the president would speak on camera. The White House’s official response was, "not at this point."

The day progressed and the travel pool followed the president's movements from a morning at the beach to an afternoon of golf and a reception at the oceanfront home of a powerful media executive. And still no statement from the White House on Libya.

As evening approached, the White House alerted the travel pool that the president would be making an "off the record" movement where the press would be able to shoot video. It was finally a chance to see if the president would speak in front of the cameras. FULL POST

Covering the president and discovering my Irish roots
CNN photojournalist Barry Schlegel sits among the cases of television equipment the American TV networks brought to cover the European trip of President Barack Obama.
May 24th, 2011
01:21 PM ET

Covering the president and discovering my Irish roots

DUBLIN (CNN) –In my position as a photojournalist with CNN I have had the opportunity to cover several American presidents. Occasionally I get to go on overseas trips. The arena of world politics is a challenging one, and it’s kind of neat to see how you feel that your "leader" stacks up when they are on the international stage. It’s always a lot of work on these trips, but there is the excitement of being in a foreign country, if only for a brief period.

President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle have visited Ireland, and guess what, I came along!  I know, I know!  There’s nothing newsworthy in the presence of one extra camera guy, but you see I’ve NEVER been to Ireland.  Actually, I had been, in the sparkling twinkle in the eye, the humor, and the loving smile of my mother whose maiden name was Creegan.  FULL POST