Quake newsman in line for Emmy

UNIVERSITY ACCOLADE: Ian and cameraman Keith Tayman with the Dupont Award
UNIVERSITY ACCOLADE: Ian and cameraman Keith Tayman with the Dupont Award

A GLOBE-TROTTING newsman from Hartlepool has been nominated for a prestigious award for his work covering the devastating Haiti earthquake that claimed 316,000 lives.

Ian Sherwood, who works for the BBC in America, and his colleagues are up for an Emmy award – the equivalent of the TV Oscars in the United States – for their reporting of the disaster.

They are nominated in the category for outstanding continuing coverage of a news story in the 32nd Annual News and Documentary Emmy Awards.

In January, Ian and his BBC colleagues won the Dupont journalism ward from Columbia University in New York for their Haiti earthquake coverage.

Ian, 35, worked as senior producer on the team’s coverage of the aftermath of the earthquake with BBC correspondent Matthew Price and cameraman Keith Tayman.

They arrived in Haiti just 24 hours after the devastating 7.0 magnitude quake hit the Caribbean country in January last year.

Over the next few days he witnessed the terrible suffering of the one million people made homeless.

Ian, who went to High Tunstall Comprehensive School, in Hartlepool, said: “It still stands as probably one of the worst scenes of human suffering I have ever seen and hope never to see again. Walking around covering the story, you realised a large number of people died.

“Then you realise in some way that your reporting of the story can make a difference and I think we did when you look at the amount of money donated by people in the UK.”

Ian and the team returned to Haiti over the next year for a series of reports on the humanitarian crisis and the struggle facing those left without shelter, food or water.

The Emmy awards ceremony will be held in New York in September.

Ian, who is based in Washington DC, said: “I feel a sense of pride that we have been nominated. But moreover it is about the recognition for the people who we featured and went back to to chart their lives. It is a story that we never turned our back on.”

The Haiti earthquake coverage is one of four nominations for BBC World News America. During his time with the BBC, Ian, who previously worked at the Hartlepool Mail, has covered stories including the July 7 London bombings and Barack Obama’s election campaign.

He met some of the world’s leading figures including Bill Clinton and Prime Minister David Cameron.