Sunday, March 26, 2006
Reporters In Iraq Tell Their Side
There is no doubt in my mind that most of the news being reported about Iraq is negative. Conservatives -- including the Bush administration-- have been throwing all sorts of accusations at journalists, from claiming that they are part of a big liberal conspiracy to turn the public’s opinion of the war, to them running negative stories because they sell. Finally, reporters in Iraq have begun speaking out and defending themselves.

This morning, :

KURTZ: Thank you.

Bush and Cheney essentially seem to be accusing you and your colleagues of carrying the terrorist message by reporting on so many of these attacks. What do you make of that?

LOGAN: Well, I think that's -- that is a very convenient way of looking at it. It doesn't reflect the value judgment that's implicit in that.

As a journalist, if an American soldier or an Iraqi person dies that day, you have to make a decision about how you weigh the value of reporting that news over the value of something that may be happening, say, a water plant that's being turned on that brings fresh water to 200 Iraqi people. I mean, you get accused of valuing human life in a certain way depending on how you report it.

And also, as -- I mean, what I would point out is that you can't travel around this country anymore without military protection. You can't travel without armed guards. You're not free to go every time there's a school opening or there's some reconstruction project that's being done.

We don't have the ability to go out and cover those. If they want to see a fair picture of what's happening in Iraq, then you have to first start with the security issue.

When journalists are free to move around this country, then they will be free to report on everything that's going on. But as long as you're a prisoner of the terrible security situation here, then that's going to be reflected in your coverage.

I get this… overwhelming feeling that Republicans are going to try and blame everything Iraq related on the media. Their accusations that reporters are only reporting the negative, and not the positive, seem totally opposite of my beliefs. When I watch the news, I feel like they are softening the war a bit. Iraq is a total war zone, but when reporters report, everything feels so medicated.



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