13 scribes killed in Iraq to muzzle bad press: Report
Thirteen journalists were killed while covering the war and occupation in Iraq last year, says a new report by the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ).Updated: Mar 17, 2004 01:09 IST
Thirteen journalists were killed while covering the war and occupation in Iraq last year, says a new report by the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ). The deaths were a subset of 36 on-the-job fatalities related to journalistic work across the world in 2003.
The CPJ's annual worldwide survey "Attacks on the Press," released on March 11, indicates that some of those deaths in Iraq were not just random events in a hazardous war zone.
Journalists who were "embedded" with the American military tended to be safer. But as a practical matter, the tradeoffs shortchanged news readers, listeners and viewers. "The close quarters shared by journalists and troops inevitably blunted reporters' critical edge," CPJ reports.
"There were also limits on what types of stories reporters could cover, since the ground rules barred journalists from leaving their unit."
Los Angeles Times reporter David Zucchino was embedded with the 101st Airborne. While he remained near American soldiers, he recalls, that "access could be suffocating and blinding."
Zucchino offers a blunt assessment: "Often I was too close, or confined, to comprehend the war's broad sweep. I could not interview survivors of Iraqi civilians killed by US soldiers or speak to Iraqi fighters trying to kill Americans.
First Published: Mar 17, 2004 01:09 IST