The Reality of Reporting in Iraq
In a recent NewsHour segment about the kidnapping of journalist Jill Carroll in Iraq, CBS reporter Lara Logan makes a good point about the reality of reporting on the ground:
JEFFREY BROWN: Ms. Logan, to what degree do the security issues affect the reporting, the actual news that comes back to all of us? Of course, the real question is what stories are not being told because it's just too unsafe?
LARA LOGAN: Well, you know, the big complaint about this war coming from the American military and the Bush administration is that the media aren't telling the real story.
They don't talk about all the good things that are happening, and I frequently say to American military officers and soldiers on the ground, look, if you want us to risk the lives of all of our team to come and film the opening of a bridge that was intact before it was bombed in this war anyway, or a school that's had new windows put in and being painted, I mean, those are just not reasons to risk the lives of all the people that are involved in trying to tell this story -- until journalists have freedom of movement to move not just around Baghdad but to move around the country -- we used to be able to drive to Fallujah.
I want to go down to Najaf and interview Muqtada al-Sadr; I can't do that anymore. It is a huge -- it has a huge impact on your ability to tell the story, and exactly as Jackie said, you know, we can't just go and talk to insurgents and go to the other side and tell that side of the story.
There are only a very few select number of journalists in Iraq who have been able to do that. And I really -- I take my hat off to them because that is an important aspect of the story that has not been well told.