Tony Hirashiki and Terry Irving. Tony’s memoir of 10 years as a network news cameraman in Vietnam.
“Tony Hirashiki was simply one of the best television cameramen to cover the Vietnam War. His soaring video, often acquired only at great personal risk, gave wings to even the most mundane narration. For those of us who worked with him he was also a source of gentleness and joy in a place where both were in terribly short supply.” – Ted Koppel, Former Nightline anchor ABC On The Frontlines of the Television War is the story of Yasutsune “Tony” Hirashiki’s ten years in Vietnam―beginning when he arrived in 1966 as a young freelancer with a 16mm camera but without a job or the slightest grasp of English and ending in the hectic fall of Saigon in 1975 when he was literally thrown on one of the last flights out. His memoir has all the exciting tales of peril, hardship, and close calls as the best of battle memoirs but it is primarily a story of very real and yet remarkable people.
Yasutsune “Tony” Hirashiki was an ABC News cameraman from 1966 to 2006. In those four decades he became legendary, consistently known as the best cameraman in the company and certainly the guy you wanted next to you if you were walking into danger. During his time in Vietnam, he was present at virtually every major event. Since then he has worked in danger zones around the world.
Terry Irving probably carried some of Tony’s newsfilm in the early 1970s when he was a motorcycle courier for ABC News. He then went into a career in TV news, spending four decades covering news in war zones like Beirut, South Africa, and El Salvador; tragic disasters from Indonesia to New Orleans; and political stories across the US. He has earned a number of awards including: 4 National Emmy Awards, 3 Peabody Awards for Significant and Meritorious Achievement, and 4 Columbia University DuPont Awards (including the first ever gold baton awarded.)