London - Arabstoday
As Col Muammar Gaddafi’s power “crumbled”, the three-time Royal Television Society (RTS) journalist of the year, reported live from the back of a pickup truck as rebels advanced towards the centre of the city The rolling news channel’s “special correspondent”, wearing a flak jacket and helmet, sat among rebels as gunfire echoed in the background in “celebration” at the imminent fall of the dicator's regime.
In stark contrast, the BBC only aired file footage from the outskirts of the capital that appeared to have been shot during the late afternoon.
Later, when the official Libyan spokesman, Moussa Ibrahim, spoke to reporters in Tripoli, Sky was several minutes ahead of the BBC in carrying the press conference live.
Meanwhile, several hours later Crawford appeared in the capital's Green Square as rebels fired guns in the air and Gaddafi posters were pulled down. She appeared to be the only western reporter at the location.
Sky News sources told The Daily Telegraph that the astonishing footage from the streets of Tripoli was produced using an Apple Mac Pro laptop computer connected to a mini-satellite dish that was charged by a car cigarette lighter socket.
Sources also confirmed that the cameraman accompanying her, Garwen Mclukie, was celebrating his birthday on Sunday.
A second cameraman Jim Foster and producer Andy Marsh were also with the pair.
During her dramatic live reporting Crawford, a married mother of four, told viewers that rebels appeared to be travelling through the city without any resistance from pro-Gaddafi forces.
At one stage her name was “trending” on Twitter around the world, meaning she was one of the most talked about subjects on the microblogging site across the globe.
Commentators also praised her coverage while users on Twitter criticised the BBC’s coverage of the rise up.
Others defended the corporation and its hard-working journalists who were reporting from extremelly dangerous locations and under extraordinary conditions.
Crawford, 48, has reported from all over the world, and has spent the past few years in the broadcaster’s Dubai bureau before recently moving to its Johannesburg base.
According to her Sky News profile, Crawford started out at the Wokingham Times before moving to the BBC and later TV-am. She joined Sky News in its first year in 1989.
Last year, in a profile piece, she wrote: “I have four children – Nat, aged 14, Frankie, Madeleine, aged 10, and seven-year-old Flo – and a very long-suffering partner, Richard, who is also a journalist.
“Because of this, there is grudging acceptance in our house that I have to go to places most people would never dream of going, nor ever want to.”
A Sky News spokeswoman said: “Alex Crawford has once again proved that she is an exceptional journalist.
“Her reporting throughout the Libyan conflict has been world-class.”
A BBC spokeswoman declined to comment.