Saturday, September 25, 2004

Who's Doing the Reporting?

A WaPo reporter wrote this in a livechat:

Rajiv Chandrasekaran: We at The Post, like most other foreign journalists here, have had to restrict our movements around Baghdad and the rest of the country because of the seucrity situation. I used to jump in a car and drive out to places like Fallujah and Baqubah to write about attacks, to get a sense of what was really happening on the ground. No longer. The roads are too dangerous, the threat of kidnapping too great. We spend a lot of time sitting in our hotels and relying on the reporting of our very brave Iraqi local staff. It's not great for us and it's not great for our readers, but it's the best we can do under the circumstances.

Fair enough. But, a couple of days ago on (I believe) CNN (can't find transcript), there was a fairly long report on Iraq, filled with lots of happy talk and smiling optimistic soldiers. There was voiceover by a CNN reporter, but I never noticed any non-military Americans in the footage. There will apparently be reports on the Today Show all next week about Iraq. If print journalists can't step outside their hotels, how are the very visible people with cameras able to get their footage?