The Lincoln Plawg - the blog with footnotes

Politics and law from a British perspective (hence Politics LAW BloG): ''People who like this sort of thing...'' as the Great Man said

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Monday, June 07, 2004
 

Is actual journalism possible in Iraq?


High time that the risks of journalists operating in Iraq were evaluated.

Philip Bennett, WaPo's Assistant Managing Director for Foreign News, has a piece in yesterday's paper which describes how circumscribed are the operations of US journalists in the country.

He queries whether the effect of the level of violence - in shutting journos off in their own green zones and taking refuge in embedding - makes the coverage in US media too negative.

I'd query how far it was worthwhile them being in the country at all.

We have the example of the BBC's Frank Gardner, who was shot in Riyadh today. Unlike the vast majority of Western journos covering the Middle East, Gardner is fluent in Arabic, long-time resident of Arab countries, including Saudi and a specialist in security matters.

For such a guy to put himself in harm's way in search of a story on Arab terror makes some kind of sense. Most Western journos in the region are mostly just walking targets.

Bennett has a Eureka! moment:
American media will have to continue to adapt, including turning increasingly to journalists whose proficiency in Arabic and physical appearance allow them to move through Iraq without standing out.

Well, duh! Journos who can actually understand their interviewees: have the Nobel people been informed?


MORE

Quick question: after the years of diversity bollocks indulged in by the likes of the Post and (Jayson Blair's) New York Times, exactly how many Arabs do these fine publications have on their reporting staffs? How many of them are used to report from Arab lands?


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