The Baghdad Press Club (New York magazine)
This is a lengthy article about the press corps in Iraq.
It offers a detailed explanation of how the reporters live
and how they have had to increase their security
as conditions in Baghdad have deteriorated.
Today, most people assume that journalists live in the Green Zone. But in fact, very few of them do and most never have. Rather, they live in a few discrete—and heavily armed—compounds, generally in hotels or their immediate environs. “I wake up in this . . . thing,” says Time bureau chief Michael Ware, trying to describe his house in the Hamra Hotel complex. “The Ministry of the Interior has sealed off a four-block radius around it and put in nominal checkpoints, but we can’t rely on the Ministry of Interior, so our house has its own security perimeter, in case the compound is overrun. We have gun pits on our roof and snipers positioned up there on rotating shifts, plus other gunmen at various other points around the perimeter, and we have other checkpoints around our house . . . ” He trails off. “But to be honest,” he says, “if the insurgents decide they want you dead, they can kill you. They know exactly where we all live.”
* * *
Time’s Michael Ware, an Aussie plucked straight from central casting (vainglorious, friendly, loonily intrepid), has similarly impressed colleagues with his connections to assorted insurgent groups, including Al Qaeda.
(Vainglorious? Honey, it ain’t bragging if you can bring it. I’m just sayin’... Not sure I can argue with the loony part, though. I mean, his passport would be Exhibit A in that department! *g*)
Anyway, the full article is available on the New York website. It’s definitely worth the read. Pass it along to anyone who thinks the media is tucked up safe and sound in the Green Zone, phoning in their reports from poolside.