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Is the Media Doing a Good Job of Covering the Iraq War?

The debate about embedded reporters vs. unilateral coverage and the media's general handling of the Iraq War is a popular topic online. Below you can find links to video symposiums about war coverage, interviews with war correspondents like Pulitzer prize winning photographer Anthony Shadid, and other sites that help to put the current war coverage in perspective.

The Institute for War and Peace Reporting provides an array of resources on war reporting around the world. The site features interactive maps, concise historical timelines of conflicts in progress, and special reports on regional media. Their special section on the war in Iraq provides current information from official sources and independent reporters. The IWPR's Iraqi Press Monitor provides regularly updated reports from the Iraqi media.

War Feels Like War - Jacek Czarnecki

Jacek Czarnecki, an experienced radio journalist from Poland, works without a helmet or a bulletproof vest on his way towards Baghdad.

The Graduate School of Journalism at the University of California at Berkeley held a special conference about war coverage in Iraq in March 2004. Video of all conference events is available online. Panels of reporters, editors, and academics discussed the coverage of the war in international media; critical assessments of the American media's performance before, during, and after the war; and the challenges of reporting the aftermath during the occupation. Guest speakers included former United Nations weapons inspector Hans Blix, CNN correspondent Christiane Amanpour, and former U.S. ambassador to Iraq Joseph C. Wilson IV.

Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting maintains a collection of stories about media coverage of the war in Iraq, with a focus on bias and misleading reporting in the American media.

Chris Hedges, a veteran war correspondent for the New York Times, has written extensively about war and journalism. (Read an excerpt from his book War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning.) His book What Every Person Should Know About War provides straightforward answers to common questions about war. The first chapter is available online at the newspaper's website (registration required).

The Los Angeles Times Festival of Books included a panel discussion about the seductive mythology of war. Moderated by Samantha Power, the panel included veteran New York Times war correspondent Chris Hedges, historian Leo Braudy, author James Hillman, and writer Anthony Swofford. [this video may not be available permanently]

At the start of the coalition invasion of Iraq, in March 2003, Slate presented an email dialogue between Mark Bowden, correspondent for The Atlantic Monthly, and Anthony Swofford, a veteran of the Marines who served in the first Gulf War and wrote the best-selling book Jarhead: A Marine's Chronicle of the Gulf War and Other Battles. Bowden and Swofford discuss the coverage of the first days of the war, bringing their own experiences of combat to bear on the subject.

In a May 2002 interview with the BBC program, Newsnight, Dan Rather talks about how he thinks the U.S. media has stopped asking tough questions in the wake of September 11th. And he feels that he is not an exception to that trend.





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