Welcome to Justin B. O’Brien Reports – a behind the scenes account of the day’s news and events as I see it.
Feel free to tell me what you think!
First a little bit about myself: I am an award winning News Cameraman/Editor and Journalist with 24 years of newsgathering experience – reporting, filming, editing and producing.
I am currently a staff ENG Cameraman/Editor with CBS News based in Los Angeles. I cover major breaking news stories for CBS News and CBS Affiliates around the United States.
The latest stories I’ve covered include the 2015 San Bernardino Terrorist Attack, Northern California Wildfires, 2015 Superbowl, the Mayweather/Pacquio fight, Texas Flooding, the Colorado Theatre Shootings, Ex-LAPD Christopher Dorner, the LAX Shooting, George Zimmerman LA Protests and numerous other breaking US news stories.
I began my television news career with National Nine News Australia in 1990, as a camera assistant at Parliament House Canberra. During the next four years covered Australian Politics, witnessed Prime Ministerial leadership challenges, visits by foreign Heads Of State, travelled overseas with Australia’s Foreign Minister and covered the 1993 Australian Federal Election campaign.
In 1994, I was posted to Nine Network Australia’s Los Angeles Bureau as a cameraman/editor. For the next decade I travelled the American continent with Nine Network reporters Robert Penfold, Mark Burrows, Nick McCallum and Michael Usher covering every major US news story.
This included the 1994 Los Angeles Earthquake, the Columbine School shooting, Academy Award ceremonys, 1996 Summer and 2002 Winter Olympics, the US Masters Golf and Presidential election campaigns. I was part of Nine’s team on the ground in New York, providing coverage of the aftermath of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.
Michael Usher and myself covered the invasion of Iraq in 2003 – filing reports from the Kuwaiti desert, Umm Qasr, then British liberated Basra and the US occupied Iraqi capital, Baghdad.
In 2004, I returned to Australia to pursue a journalist on-camera role with National Nine News in Darwin. I successfully made the transition from cameraman to reporter — providing national coverage of the 2006 Katherine Floods and Category 5 Cyclone Monica as it approached the Northern Territory coast. Later that year I covered a violent uprising in East Timor.
March 2007, I reported from Afghanistan while travelling with Australian troops based in the Southern Uruzgan Provience. In February 2008, I was dispatched to East Timor again, this time to report on the attempted assassination of President Jose Ramos-Horta.
In May 2009, I was employed on a three months contract with CBS News. Working as a cameraman/editor in CBS Newspath’s Los Angeles Bureau. The Santa Barbara Wildfires were a notable story I covered during this time.
Returning to Darwin, I was sent to Padang, in southern Sumatra Indonesia in September to report on a 7 point 6 earthquake which struck the region.
In 2010, worked as a multimedia and print journalist with the NT News based in Darwin, Australia. Exclusive stories I broke include – the exposure of up to 40 unlicensed security guards working at various Darwin Immigration Detention Centers. The story prompted raids by NT Licensing Official on the offices of MSS Security. Another notable story was about a NT Police raid on the house of Darwin Lord Mayor Graeme Sawyer. The story later prompted NT Police to ‘tap’ my phone records in an attempt to identify my confidential sources. I refused to reveal my sources to police investigators.
In February 2011, I spent four-months volunteering as an English teacher in the coastal town of Nha Trang in Southern Vietnam. Whilst there I also constructed websites for local businesses.
Born in Canberra Australia, I graduated from Daramalan College. I studied news writing at UCLA in Los Angeles as well as Business and American History at Santa Monica College.
To keep fit, I do indoor cycle classes, sail my Catalina 22, drink cold Sapporo and enjoy a daily Peets Coffee.
All the best,
Justin B. O’Brien