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Thursday, April 03, 2014

KWTX and KBTX team up for Afghanistan war coverage

With Fort Hood in its coverage area, KWTX teamed up with sister station KBTX to cover soldiers in Afghanistan

During Wednesday's Fort Hood shooting, Waco's KWTX was a constant presence on television screens across the nation as its coverage was picked up by local stations and cable news channels.

With Killeen in its coverage area, the CBS affiliate is constantly covering the largest active duty armored post in the United States Armed Services.

This is why in a time when the War in Afghanistan doesn't get as much coverage as it used to, KWTX and Gray Television sister station KBTX in Bryan/College Station are still reporting from the Middle East.

The army invited KWTX to report out of Afghanistan, and news director Virgil Teter opted to bring in support from KBTX, since Texas A&M has a high presence in Fort Hood's Afghanistan deployment.

Steve Fullhart
Steve Fullhart
KBTX anchor/executive producer Steve Fullhart and KWTX Bell County Bureau Chief Rachel Cox embedded themselves with the army and shot their own footage without the help of a photographer.

"Steve is a tremendous story teller and photographer," KWTX and KBTX general manager Mike Wright told "The combination greatly improve achieving our goals for being there."

Wright says this was the perfect opportunity to bring local stories back home to Texas.

Rachel Cox
Rachel Cox
"The intent was to not be a media entity that simply goes to post pictures from there 'just because they are there,' or to use technology to say 'hey - here we are live in Afghanistan,'" Wright told me. "The goal was to find stories that as closely as possible accurately reflect what is happening there as the US prepares for a draw down in that region."

The duo shot for their respective newscasts and then produced a half-hour special called Assignment Afghanistan. You can watch it here plus see their other daily stories from the trip.

"We are proud of the joint effort between KWTX and KBTX and seek to do more of these types of things in the future," Wright added.

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