Above all, the difficulties for reporters working in Iraq came through Wednesday as U.S. and Arab journalists joined Lt. Colonel Steven Boylan to debate the media’s coverage in Iraq. Reporters can’t follow their basic instinct to “see, smell and hear” if they can’t linger in the streets to talk to people, said Roger Cohen of the New York Times. Iraqi journalists are fearful of being considered collaborators with the American military if they are seen working as journalists, said Zaki Chehab, political editor of Al Hayat.
You can find the panelists and the five bloggers expected to post on the Reuters-sponsored event with this link. Reuters will post the video of the debate and highlights of a live chat with bloggers Thursday.
Global Voices’ Rebecca MacKinnon, the moderator of a live chat during the event, on Thursday postedÂ that the “consensus among bloggers in the chatroom was that the media does indeed fail to provide a comprehensive or truly objective picture of what is happening in Iraq. However people disagreed on why, or what is to be done.”
One point of agreement among the panelists is that U.S. media coverage “is too polarized between ‘good news’ and ‘bad news’ and all sides are missing out on a complete picture,” Reuters reporter Claudia Parsons writes here. (Photojournalist Ghaith Abdul-Ahad pictured left)
You can add your comments on the media coverage below. Salam Adil, an Iraqi living in London, posted in Asterism: “I heard a lot of talk at the Reuters event for and against the media. But here is the problem – things happen and the media is flailing around for answers. There is no good background reporting to explain why things are happening.”