Thursday, June 01, 2006

Profiles in Courageous Reporting

The deaths of CBS cameraman Paul Douglas and soundman James Brolan and the injuries to correspondent Kimberly Dozier remind us once again how much we owe the journalists who are brave enough to continue reporting from Iraq. I continue to be astounded by the quality of the reporting that's being done in the face of terrible odds. An example is "A Town Awoke to Slaughter" by Megan K. Stack and Raheem Salman in Thursday's Los Angeles Times. Stack, Salman and an Iraqi reporter whose name the Times is protecting for security reasons share first-hand accounts of what happened in Haditha, where survivors say Marines, enraged by the death of one of their own, gunned down women, children and a man in a wheelchair. I admire the Times reporters for not relying on leaks from the official investigation but instead getting information from Haditha itself.

Last month the Times carried another gem from Iraq, this time by Bruce Wallace. "In Iraq, Soccer Field Is No Longer a Refuge" describes what happens when violence strikes one place ordinary Iraqis had felt safe. Wallace does a nice job of showing how sports had survived as maybe the only part of Iraqi society immune from sectarian bloodshed.


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