Al Jazeera shares scoop on Gaddafi capture footage

Rebecca Hawkes ©RapidTVNews | 23-10-2011

The mobile phone footage obtained by Al Jazeera which confirmed the demise of Muammar Gaddafi to the world has marked another first in breaking momentous news for the Middle East broadcaster.
Tony Birtley, Al Jazeera's man on the ground in Sirte, has spoken about sourcing the video which an uncertain world had been waiting to see after Libya TV had reported the country's former dictator had been killed by revolutionary forces.
"We've been going back and forth to Sirte for the last thirteen days. We got to know various people who took us into their confidence," said the veteran war correspondent, who hails from London.
"The uprisings have been filmed on people's mobile phones. When we got to Sirte (on Thursday) we started asking around and someone said he could get us the pictures. He came back with someone else and we downloaded it onto our computer."
The former RTS journalist of the year added: "I've been reporting from Libya for the last six and a half months, so it was like a lot of old friends coming out and saying 'I remember you from Brega...', 'I remember you from Ajdabiya...', 'I remember you stayed there...'. So it was wonderful to share that moment with them."
Birtley added "I'm sure Al Jazeera stayed with this story. A lot of other broadcasters seemed to have thought the resistance was too strong, it wasn't going to happen, it was costing too much to stay."
Tony Birtley has worked with Al Jazeera English since the news outlet launched. He has worked for various news broadcasters over his 30 year career, including ABC News, ITN, Channel 4 News, BBC and Sky News.