Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Success In Iraq - Maybe Not

A survey released today at, the Project for Excellence in Journalism, doesn't tally with many reports about great progress being made in Iraq.

"...the journalists—most of them veteran war correspondents—describe conditions in Iraq as the most perilous they have ever encountered, and this above everything else is influencing the reporting. A majority of journalists surveyed (57%) report that at least one of their Iraqi staff had been killed or kidnapped in the last year alone—and many more are continually threatened. “Seven staffers killed since 2003, including three last July,” one bureau chief wrote with chilling brevity. “At least three have been kidnapped. All were freed.”

A majority of journalists surveyed say most of the country is too dangerous to visit. Nine out of ten say that about at least half of Baghdad itself. Wherever they go, traveling with armed guards and chase vehicles is the norm for more than seven out of ten surveyed. "

The survey included responses from 111 journalists who have worked or are currently working in Iraq. The vast majority, 90 of them, were in Iraq when they took the survey or have worked there in 2007, and most have spent at least seven months in the country cumulatively since the war began.

The journalists are from 29 different news organizations (all of them U.S. based except for one) that have had staff in Iraq—including newspapers, wire services, magazines, radio, and network and cable TV. This represents, by best estimates, every news organization in the U.S. save one that has had a correspondent in Iraq for at least one month since January 2006.

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