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USA Today’s Peter Johnson talks to correspondents from each news network about the challenges of covering Iraq. Pull quotes:
ABC’s Dan Harris: “I can’t casually make a decision locally with my producers, like ‘Oh, let’s embed for the day’ or ‘Let’s go on this raid.’ We have to run it up the flagpole internally, and it’s a subject of real discussion about what type of vehicle we’re in, what protection we’ll have and is it worth the risk.”
CNN’s Michael Ware: “Where once you could rely on the general population to at least watch your back, to alert you to what danger may be around you, you can no longer, be it out fear and intimidation or a dwindling in sympathy or empathy for us and our position. In terms of the insurgency, we are seen as legitimate targets: part of the problem, not the solution.”
FNC’s David Mac Dougall: “Before, we were more inclined to go on patrols. Now, we are actively thinking, ‘Is this patrol worth it? What do we gain from this? Could we get the story without going out?'”
CBS’ Elizabeth Palmer: “We now have the 15-minute rule: We never stay anywhere longer than 15 minutes” to reduce the chance of kidnapping or attack.
NBC’s Jane Arraf: “When you are watching American soldiers, guys from Kansas, and Iraqis, doing enormous acts of heroism, to not cover it, to go somewhere more comfortable — safer — it just feels you wouldn’t be doing those people justice.”
Here’s the full story…