A week later, having written the narration for the tape I shipped to London, I find myself two continents away. Out comes the laptop. Using audio recording and editing software, and a microphone, I record my narration, or track, onto the hard disk. I use the audio software to remove any unwanted background noise, then compress the audio into an MP3 file.
To transmit the track to London, I connect the laptop to the sat phone. Then, using a compass and a chart inside the sat phone's cover, I point the dish in the direction of the satellite thousands of miles away in space, and send the MP3 file via a data line to one of our servers in London.
Later, my videotape editor retrieves the MP3 track and loads it into our Avid digital video editing suite. He or she also loads video from the DV tape I had previously shipped.
The editor then matches the video to the words of my audio narration. With much creativity, the editor turns the separate elements into a news spot. The cut spot is then sent by satellite to ABCNEWS headquarters in New York, to be broadcast on World News Tonight.
In one case, I shot a story in Ghana, wrote the script in South Africa, and transmitted my narration via sat phone from Vanuatu in the South Pacific.
Mike Lee's reports will air on World News Tonight all this week.