Fox 41 sends reporter, photog to Afghanistan
By: Travis K. Kircher
LOUISVILLE Ky. (WDRB Fox 41) – WDRB Fox 41 News, the Fox affiliate in Louisville, Ky., has sent a reporter and photojournalist to Afghanistan for approximately 3-4 weeks.
Reporter-anchor Lindsay Allen and Chief Photographer Ken Bradley landed at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan late Sunday night. They will be embedded in Afghanistan with the Kentucky National Guard's Agri Business Development Team. The team consists of roughly 60 Guard members who are expected to teach the Afghan people agricultural techniques intended to improve their economic stability and self-reliance.
While in Afghanistan, Allen and Bradley plan to provide in-depth coverage of the Agri Business Development Team's efforts, as well as the Afghan people and the overall effects of the U.S. military's presence in the war-torn region.
In addition to providing broadcast reports – which will air on Fox 41 newscasts, as well as on Fox41.com – Allen and Bradley hope to develop special Web features, which will include quality still photography, blogs, Web-exclusive videos and regular interaction with viewers.
All such features will depend on connectivity issues available to them.
Anyone wishing to follow Allen's reports from Afghanistan can do so by becoming a fan of the Fox 41 News Facebook page by following the link below:
Allen, a native of Hagerstown, Md., said she's enthused about the project.
"What we're about to do is a very important story in both of our minds," she told Fox41.com before leaving on Friday. "These men and women are sacrificing a year of their lives – birthdays, Christmases, 4th of July – to serve our country. If we can share their stories for just three short weeks -- that's the mission that I'd like to accomplish."
Both Allen and Bradley went through extensive cultural, language and weapons training as a precaution before the trip. They also received shots and are currently taking malaria pills.
Bradley described what it was like to undergo weapons training.
"It was an experience," he said. "We did training on M4 automatic rifles and 9mm pistols…but we're hoping that all of the shooting we do over there will be in true HD -- with our cameras."
Both Allen and Bradley joked that they are taking along a couple of items for good luck: Allen said she is taking along specially-made dog tags, while Bradley said he was taking a "lucky coin" given to him by a colleague.
Are they nervous?
"Of course there's an element of fear and an element of the unknown as, of course, we're going to a war zone," Allen said. "I'm very aware of that. But beyond any fear that I feel, I feel that I'm able to do this, for lack of a better word, because of my journalistic duty."
She quickly added that she appreciates the concern and well-wishes of viewers, friends and colleagues.
"Thoughts and prayers – keep them with you," she said. "As you guys lay down at night, be thinking of us."
Shortly after landing at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan last night, Bradley told Fox 41 News that the military there was preparing for a possible insurgent attack. That attack never came.
Fox 41 News has newscasts that run at 11:30 a.m., 4:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. (EST). Fox in the Morning airs 5:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.
In April, WDRB Fox 41 became the first station in the Louisville market to launch newscasts in true high-definition.