: Chris Albritton, the journalist/blogger who just returned to Iraq, unleashes a long diatribe about how difficult it is to report in Iraq: the traffic, the security, the rules, the mistrust. He defends his journalist colleagues against accusations that they either aren’t sticking it to the man or aren’t reporting good news (“There isn’t much good news to report”).
OK, he’s there and we’re not. Better reporter than I, Gunga Din. But I think the diatribe misses two points:
First, because of all the limits he lists, don’t we need to acknowledge that we are not getting good reporting from Iraq? I don’t care about the reasons and excuses of which there are plenty. Let’s just take a cold, hard look at the quality of the reporting and see whether we’re getting the whole story.
Second, Chris, if I may suggest: Go talk to some of your fellow bloggers, Iraqi bloggers. You, of all journalists, should understand the benefit of their perspective — and reporting. Partner with them; show them some tricks of the reporting trade; quote them; introduce their story to mainstream Western media because no one else is. It’s the perfect bloggers’ scoop.
See my earlier post suggesting this to other reporters here and here. See Jay Rosen on this topic here and here. See also Thomas P.M. Barnett’s description, below, of Iraqi blogs as “serious ground truth.”