About 

  • Blake Essig is an award-winning international correspondent for CNN based at the network's Tokyo bureau. He is responsible for covering major news from Japan and the Asia-Pacific region.

    Essig was instrumental to the network's coverage of the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics in 2021. He chronicled the challenges Japan faced in the lead up to, and throughout, the unprecedented Games. His reporting covered the impact of Covid-19, numerous scandals, and the fierce opposition to holding the global event during the pandemic.

    He has also contributed to CNN's Covid-19 coverage, reporting from the China-Hong Kong border in the early days of the initial outbreak and covering the fallout from the Diamond Princess cruise ship disaster in Japan.

    Essig has reported on several natural disasters in Asia, including the deadly mudslide in Atami, Japan in 2021 and the Taal Volcano eruption in the Philippines in 2020. He also extensively covered the search operation for a missing Indonesian Navy submarine in early 2021.

    Before joining CNN, Essig worked as a multimedia journalist at KTUU in Anchorage, Alaska, covering major breaking news stories including deadly plane crashes, earthquakes, flooding and wildfires.

    He produced a five-part series on Alaska's whalers focusing on the history and controversy surrounding the subsistence hunt, as well as produced a weekly series which profiled people, events and life in one of the most beautiful and unforgiving locations in the world.

    While on special assignment, Essig filed in-depth reports from the front line of the war in Afghanistan, he followed a trade delegation from Alaska to China as the trade war ramped up, he produced several long form pieces on the climate crisis and reported from the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.

    Essig has been recognized with multiple accolades during his career including seven Edward R. Murrow Awards, three Emmys and a Sigma Delta Chi Award from the Society of Professional Journalism. He graduated with honors from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications at Arizona State University.