Three Iraqis working for foreign news outlets were just killed, raising the total number of Iraqi media workers killed this year to at least 27, according to the nonprofit Committee to Protect Journalists.
A few days ago two Reuters employees, a photographer and driver, were killed in eastern Baghdad during what witnesses say was a U.S. helicopter attack, and then earlier today a 23-year-old reporter and interpreter for the New York Times was shot and killed on his way to work in south central Baghdad.
In the current issue of Mother Jones, Greg Veis profiles an Iraqi Reuters journalist whose peril in war is multiplied because of his association with Western media outlets.
“My wife has begged me to quit my job and even to leave Iraq. But I told her that every day tens of Iraqis are being killed for no reason, and they will be forgotten otherwise. To die as a journalist, I would know that I was killed while I was reporting the truth. I would die proud.”
Veis points out the growing trend of American media outlets closing their bureaus in Iraq, or radically downsizing their presence, estimating that the current tally of American print correspondents in Iraq caps out at around 20. Which leaves the on-the-ground, dangerous reporting to Iraqis who string for most news outlets.
And the Army’s take on Iraqis sending stories stateside? Veis talked to a lieutenant who feels they feed “the symbiotic relationship between violence and the media,” in that they have access to stories because they have a “tacit agreement” with the enemy.
Read Veis’ story soon on motherjones.com, or pick up the July/August issue from your local bookstore today.