Today is the beginning of a new series on ATA that will take a look at Anderson's segments from Planet In Peril. We'll get a little behind the scenes look through Anderson's blog posts during his travels for the filming of PIP and then take a look at the resulting segment that aired as part of the documentary in October 2007.
In his Friday, March 16, 2007 AC360 Blog post Anderson spoke of preparing for his trip to SE Asia; where the opening segment was filmed ~
From snow to Southeast Asia
New Yorkers awoke this morning to a fresh blanket of snow. It was admittedly somewhat jarring. (Remember when you were a kid and snow was so exciting, at what age does it become annoying?)
I'm heading to Southeast Asia tomorrow morning, so there's always a lot of last minute stuff I have to do, and trudging through the snow just makes it that much harder. I've been getting shots for things I'd never even heard of -- who knew you need a vaccine for Japanese Encephalitis?
For years, I never got shots when I traveled. I figured it wasn't worth the hassle. Considering my cameraman Neil was hospitalized after our recent Brazil trip (he'd been bitten by a spider according to one doctor) and my other cameraman Phil had some bug lay eggs inside him, I've decided to get all the shots I can, and I've promised myself I will actually take my malaria medicine with me this time.
We'll be in Southeast Asia next week broadcasting from a variety of locations. I went to school in Vietnam in the early 1990s but I've only been back to the region once since then. I went for the elections in Cambodia, and I'm looking forward to returning to see how the region has changed. We'll be reporting on environmental issues for our "Planet in Peril" series, but we'll also be looking at sex trafficking, in particular the trafficking of children, which is especially bad in Cambodia.
We had our morning call earlier today, and there are a number of stories we are following for tonight's broadcast. The morning call is always interesting, folks call in from home or the gym or wherever they are to talk about what's happening today. You can usually hear a couple of kids in the background as producers try to maximize time with their families and get work done at the same time....
Posted by Anderson Cooper: 3:32 PM ET
Monday, March 19, 2007 ~
Inside Bangkok's illegal wildlife trade
I haven't been to Bangkok, Thailand, in more than 10 years, and a lot has changed since then. This city's growth has been explosive. There are now highways built on top of the old highways I remember, though the roads still seem clogged through much of the day, just as they were 10 years ago.
We've come to Southeast Asia this week to focus on trafficking. When most people hear that word, they probably think about drug trafficking, and that is clearly the major item being trafficked around the world, but many of the criminal enterprises that smuggle drugs use the same routes to traffic women and children and also animals.
We'll head to Cambodia later this week to investigate the trafficking of women and children in the sex industry, but tonight, we are investigating the illegal wildlife trade in Thailand. Bangkok has become a major hub for the buying and selling of endangered and threatened species.
Over the weekend, our hidden cameras captured several endangered primates and turtles being sold in shops in the market. Today, my crew and I went along with Thai police as they raided the main animal market here in Bangkok. It was an interesting experience, though also a frustrating one for police and animal welfare workers.
When the police arrived, many of the shops were locked-up, and under Thai law, the police couldn't break-in. They did manage to recover more than 100 birds. The conditions in which they were kept were pretty depressing. A bunch of the birds were dead, lying in the bottom of dirty, cramped cages. But it wasn't a big find, and no arrests were made.
...Tonight's program will be broadcast from the main animal market in Bangkok, so it should be a pretty colorful show.
... See you soon!
Posted By Anderson Cooper: 3:54 PM ET
From Tuesday, March 20, 2007 ~
Morning is evening in Bangkok
There are moments when I wake up and I'm not sure where I am or what time it is. I guess it's the jet lag, but our schedule doesn't help.
To broadcast "360" live from Bangkok, Thailand, we have to be on location by about 7 a.m. local time. We are on the air from 9 to 11 a.m. and then head into the Bangkok traffic to shoot more stories for the next day's broadcast. We usually finish shooting around 9 p.m., which means we spend much of the night writing and editing pieces. Most of the crew is getting very little sleep, which certainly doesn't help fight the jet lag.
We are focusing this week on trafficking, the trafficking of both humans and animals. I interviewed someone from the United Nations earlier today who made the point that when we speak of the trafficking of humans, we should call it what it is: slavery.
I think it's a good point. The word trafficking is kind of antiseptic, clinical. I still find it hard to believe so many men, women and children are slaves in this day and age. Here in Southeast Asia, they work in brothels and sweat shops, on fishing boats and in back alley factories. We'll focus on their plight in the coming days, even as we continue to track the illegal trade in endangered and threatened species.
...It's almost 10 p.m. here now, which means it's almost 11 a.m. in New York, time for our morning conference call. Or is that now an evening conference call? As I mentioned, it's easy to get confused.
Posted By Anderson Cooper: 1:05 PM ET
Planet In Peril: Preparing for the Raid
Planet In Peril: Raiding the JJ Market
Wednesday, March 21, 2007 ~
How to annoy an airline check-in counter
Today's been one of those days that just kind of gets away from you. We finished broadcasting this morning from Thailand (after midnight EST) and had to start packing for the airport and our trip to Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
I know it doesn't sound like a big deal, but you have to remember we have dozens of cases of gear and transmission equipment that are opened and unpacked for each broadcast and then carefully repacked and organized.
There were five of us on the flight and when we told the woman at the check-in counter that we had 25 cases with us, she clearly wished we'd picked a different counter.
...It should be a good show. I'm glad we've finally arrived in Cambodia. And the best part is that all of our 25 bags made it as well.
Posted By Anderson Cooper: 1:40 PM ET
To be continued....
Blogger's Note: The Planet In Peril and Planet in Peril: Battelines DVD's are available for purchase through Amazon.com
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, ANDERSON!
From family parties to 'Turtle Man'...here's hoping that you look back on your 45 years with a lot of laughs and fond memories...and wishing you many more ~