It’s Harder To Cover The Endless War in Iraq

Today I got up early to read Editor and Publisher. A story by Joe Strupp discussed how the war is taking a toll on reporters, there are fewer and fewer of them willing to risk IED explosions in Iraq to cover the war.

Susan Chira, NY Times foreign editor said ‘Some of the people are cylcling out now and are ready to stop now. They are ready to move on.’ Chira said part of this is that the climate is so much worse than earlier in the war. “When I was first foreign editor, people could go out to restaurants, they could drive over land in the country, they could go into Fallujah.”

At the LA Times, Foreign editor Marjorie Miller said “we’re doing what we are doing, but we wish it would go away. It is a humanitarian disaster and there is the rest of the world to cover. There are other things we might be doing in Latin America or Asia if we were not in Iraq.”

The Wall Street Journal’s Bill Spindle said that using local Iraqis is getting more difficult. He said the local staff ca no longer go into some neighborhoods. “It gets harder and harder to operate there,” he said, “more expensive.”

The Boston Globe pulled out completely in 2005, along with closing all of its overseas bureaus in a budget cut, they once had five reporters in Iraq. They lost a reporter, Elizabeth Neuffer, who died in a car accident outside Baghdad. “It it was just costs alone, we would have stayed, said James Smith, the paper’s foreign editor.