The network news, justly, stands criticized of its failure to pay enough attention to Africa. So any exception is worthy of comment. Neither ABC nor CBS actually dispatched a reporter for these efforts but the packages aired nonetheless.
ABC took advantage of the work of newsgathering partner BBC for an expose of child labor abuses in the metals mines of the Democratic Republic of Congo. From London, David Wright (subscription required) narrated footage filed by Orla Guerin of boys wading through toxic waste water in search of trace amounts of copper and cobalt, used in refrigerators, televisions and telephone batteries.
CBS used the release of the Leonardo diCaprio movie Blood Diamond--"In America it is bling bling. Out here it is bling bang"--to examine corruption in the trade for precious gems. Thalia Assuras filed her report from a jeweler in Washington DC intercut with images of mutilation and amputation from photojournalist Chris Hondros. His book Blood Diamonds (plural) documented the civil war in Sierra Leone. "The war was a jewelry heist, is simply what it was," said co-author Greg Campbell.
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