Monday, April 03, 2006

It Isn't Safe to Go Out

There is a really interesting article in the New York Review of Books about the media in Iraq. The article describes how, because of the intense and unpredictable violence, reporters are mostly confined to their bureaus and are required to make intense preparations for any movement off-site. In the highly dangerous environment, reporters are unable to go out and investigate and talk to sources, they have no contacts in insurgent groups, and must be back to their bureaus before dark. To adapt to their constraints, media outlets are using Iraqis to investigate and report, while the journalists compile and write the stories. The article also contrasts these constraints to the period shortly after Saddam fell when the environment was safer and there were far fewer insurgent attacks (there never seems to be a shortage of information suggesting that the administration bungled the war effort by trying to fight it with too few troops while ignoring a growing insurgency).

With the exception of the last couple paragraphs, which say with confidence that Iraq is heading to civil war, it is a really interesting and unbiased piece.