Kit Seelye reports on a rather curious meeting of newspapers editors asking the Associated Press whether they — and thus we — are getting the full story in Iraq: that is, not just the bombing but also the building.
Some editors expressed concern that a kind of bunker mentality was preventing reporters in Iraq from getting out and explaining the bigger picture beyond the daily death tolls.
“The bottom-line question was, people wanted to know if we’re making progress in Iraq,” Ms. Goudreau said, and the A.P. articles were not helping to answer that question.
“It was uncomfortable questioning The A.P., knowing that Iraq is such a dangerous place,” she said. “But there’s a perception that we’re not telling the whole story.”
Mr. Silverman said in an interview that he was aware of that perception. “Other editors said they get calls from readers who are hearing stories from returning troops of the good things they have accomplished while there, and readers find that at odds with the generally gloomy portrayal in the papers of what’s going on in Iraq,” he said.
Well, it’s good they’re asking … a bit late in the party of public perception, but at least they’re asking. I also would have been curious to hear the same questions asked of papers, including The Times, that have their reporters in Iraq. [insert full disclosure here]
One thing they can do is turn soldiers and bloggers there into contributors. No, they’re not journalists. Yes, they have a viewpoint (what human doesn’t). But they have eyes and ears where the American news organizations do not.