In today's column from Monocle, Alex Crawford of Sky News shows the essence of old-fashioned, frontline reporting.

Monocolumn is Monocle’s daily bulletin of news and opinion. Catch up with previous editions here.

Wars have often turned jobbing journalists into household names and given them a heroic lustre in the process. And anyone who was surfing TV channels in the UK and beyond on Sunday night would have had to agree that one flak-jacket hard-hat wearing reporter stood out from all the other microphone-toting media types: Sky News’s Alex Crawford.

While her rivals at the BBC were miles from the action pontificating on what might be happening in Tripoli, Crawford was on a truck surrounded by rebel fighters and ululating locals. Guns fired into the night sky but, whether they were friendly fire or snipers’ pot shots, it didn’t seem to bother Alex, who interviewed people from the back of her vehicle as it edged its way slowly through the traffic into the falling capital. It’s a state of affairs that prompted BBC World News editor Jon Williams to admit today that Crawford had shown tenacity and produced “compelling coverage” (while insisting it was just too dangerous for his team to follow suit).

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