Reporting Iraq: An Oral History of the War by the Journalists who Covered It
Included are contributions from fifty international journalists, including Dexter Filkins, The New York Times correspondent who won widespread praise for his coverage of Fallujah; Rajiv Chandrassekaran, author of Imperial Life in the Emerald City; Anthony Shadid of the Washington Post, who won the Pulitzer Prize for his war coverage; Richard Engel of NBC; Anne Garrels of NPR, and other star reporters from both the print and broadcast world, not to mention their translators, photo journalists, and a military reporter.
All come together to discuss the war from its beginning on, and they hold back nothing on the violence they faced---Farnaz Fassihi of the Wall Street Journal talks about her near-kidnapping by "five men with AK-47s" chasing her car. ("I kept thinking, 'This is it.'") Nor do they hold back discussing how this impacted their work---British reporter Patrick Cockburn of The Independent notes that "One had to spend an enormous amount of time thinking about one's own security," and NPR reporter Deborah Amos observes that it was even more complicated for women: "As time went on we had to dress as Iraqi women, in the most conservative costumes Iraqi women would wear."
But perhaps the most fascinating---and chilling---observation is that most saw a disaster in Iraq unfolding long before they were allowed to report it. As Jon Lee Anderson of The New Yorker puts it, various governmental authorities and the media's own fears combined "to keep bad news away from the public," an observation supported by over 21 stunning, full-color photographs---many of which have never been published before due to such censorship.
Collected by the editors of America's most prestigious media monitor, the Columbia Journalism Review, such revelations make Reporting Iraq a fascinating and unique look at the war, as well as an important critique of international press coverage.