CNN’s Ben Wedeman Reports From Libya, “First Western TV Journalist”

CNN has managed to defy efforts by the Libya regime of Muammar Gaddafi to close the country to Western journalists, with the network’s Ben Wedeman reporting by phone from inside Libya just after 6 p.m. ET Monday. Talking to Situation Room anchor Wolf Blitzer, Wedeman described the tense atmosphere inside the country and conceded he already had grave concerns about the extent to which the Gaddafi regime might resort to widespread bloodshed to put down the uprising.

The Libyan government maintains tight control on communications and CNN has reported that requests for official entry into the country have been ignored.

Wedeman, whose exact location was not revealed for his safety, was described by Blitzer and in an on-screen chyron graphic as “the first Western television journalist inside Libya.” Wedeman’s arrival in Libya comes as most Western networks have described the intense difficulty in reporting on events unfolding in the country, which has long been one of the most inhospitable for journalists. The BBC described Libya as a place where “the door is firmly shut to international journalists, local reporters face intimidation and the threat of worse. It explains why, in contrast to recent events in Tunisia, Egypt and Bahrain, we’re unable to report from inside Libya on the protests taking place there, and the authorities violent response.”

Wedeman, CNN’s senior international correspondent based in Cairo, was integral to the network’s coverage of the Egyptian uprising.

Watch the Wedeman segment here, from CNN:

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