So What’s Up In Iraq?

Fraser decides to return via train.  Like Lincoln.

Fraser decides to return via train. Like Lincoln.

Posted by the Editor –

Monday, December 29th New York Times had an article titled, TV News Winds Down Operations In Iraq.

Quietly, as the United States presidential election and its aftermath have dominated the news, America’s three broadcast network news divisions have stopped sending full-time correspondents to Iraq.

In Baghdad, ABC, CBS and NBC still maintain skeleton bureaus in heavily fortified compounds. …….. Some of the offices have only one Western staff member.

The three network evening newscasts devoted 423 minutes to Iraq this year as of Dec. 19, compared with 1,888 minutes in 2007, said Andrew Tyndall, a television news consultant.

CNN and the Fox News Channel, both cable news channels with 24 hours to fill, each keep one correspondent in Iraq.

The staff cuts appear to be the latest evidence of budget pressures at the networks. And those pressures are not unique to television: many newspapers and magazines have also curtailed their presence in Baghdad. As a consequence, the war is gradually fading from television screens, newspapers and, some worry, the consciousness of the American public.

So there’s not much news reporting from Iraq. The costs and restrictions to reporting have pushed the American population’s ability to understand the war into the background. Basically, back home we don’t know WTF is going on. It’s not any better for Afghanistan. It was the “Battle of the Surge” argument between the presidential candidates until the global financial meltdown in September. Since the earth lost 50% of its wealth over the last three months, thinking about the wars has not been a top-shelf topic of attention. Maybe that’s the way it’s intended.

Real time personal archives like this one, even abiding by the military restrictions, may provide some of history’s clearest understanding of life in the war zone.

One thought on “So What’s Up In Iraq?”

  1. Interesting post… my perception is that ever since the success of the surge a lot of media organisations have consciously leaned away from reporting on Iraq. Headlines about abstract political progress simply don’t excite people as much as spectacular terrorist atrocities. (And maybe a few networks are slightly embarrassed about their initial dismissiveness of the surge)

    I sincerely hope the war doesn’t drift out of the public consciousness – the last thing we need is another pre-9/11 style bubble. Keep up the good work, M

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