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"People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." - George Orwell

Monday, May 24, 2004

Jay Rosen has a great article about how the press is covering (or, rather, not covering) the situation in Iraq. His contention is that reporters are staying in the "green zone" and not getting out on the streets to meet with and interview everyday Iraqis.

"Green zones" are the American and other coalition protected areas. Fortified bases and the like.

Rosen is chair of the journalism department at NYU so he writes with some authority.

He does not downplay the danger in Iraq, or suggest that reporters are cowards. The article is a straight explanation of why we're getting such a narrow view of what is going on.

Many people have notice for some time the disjunct between what the major media have been reporting and the reports we get from soldiers in the field and individual Iraqis. Rosen's article goes a long way towards explaining why this is so. The major media almost invariably present a gloom-and-doom picture, with the specter of Vietnam never far away. They dwell on the Abu Ghraib abuses ad nauseum. The Iraqi bloggers and soldiers report an entirely different picture. Granted, evidence the bloggers and soldiers is anecdotal. It's almost impossible to know if their letters and reports are representative or even truthful. But it's also evidence that we ignore at our peril. |
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