Someone's Leaving Iraq— Journalists

Interest wanes as news shifts from fighting to rebuilding
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 11, 2008 1:55 PM CDT
Journalists converse outside the Ramadi Government Center in Iraq in this September 2005 file photo.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – As Iraq stabilizes itself, withdrawals have finally begun—for the media. Journalists have left Iraq in droves this year, the Washington Post reports. Last September, military units hosted 219 embedded journalists; this month, that number shrunk to 39. Of the dozen newspapers that once maintained Baghdad bureaus, only 4 remain. “Everyone realizes it's an important story,” said one correspondent. “But it’s been six years of this.”

Many reporters say the situation has become too complex for US audiences. “It remains important and it remains interesting,” said one bureau chief, “but what’s in front of us now is almost a static situation. There’s not a clear narrative line.” The military also would rather show reporters rebuilding operations than military ones. “It’s very clear that they are trying to push us away,” said the AP’s bureau chief.