Memo to Baghdad bureaus: Get bloggers

Memo to Baghdad bureaus: Get bloggers

: As Howard Kurtz writes today, American reporters in Iraq are pretty much prisoners inside the cloistered confines of the green zone because it’s too dangerous to venture out to where the people — and the news — are.

So here’s a suggestion, guys: Start reading — and quoting — Iraqi bloggers.

You should be doing that anyway, since these folks give us a perspective you big-time reporters simply are not giving us. But you should be doing this especially now that you can’t get out and report the news.

Of course, these aren’t “real journalists.” That means they don’t have suits and expense accounts. But they have eyes and ears and keyboards and they give us a viewpoint we need to see. So you can issue caveats aplenty.

But then read them. Quote them. Share them. Just go to Zeyad’s blog and start clicking on his blogroll to find the brothers Omar, Mohammad and Ali or Ays, Alaa , Raed, Raed’s family, River, Firas Georges, Sam , Kurdo’s World, Sarmad, and Baghdadi (an Iraqi-American who has been back and forth).

They can see what you can’t see, reporters — and isn’t that valuable? They can report what you can’t report — and shouldn’t you seek that out? They have a perspective you don’t have. Read them. Quote them.