Monday, November 21, 2005

Journalists in the Line of Fire

I have read a couple frightening, yet fascinating first-person accounts by journalists about the attack on a hotel housing many news people in Baghdad on Friday -- one from Mike Boettcher of NBC News and another from Chicago Tribune's Liz Sly. Of course I realize that hundreds of Iraqi civilians and U.S. soldiers have been killed by bombs, but hearing about journalists being targeted still send a chill down my spine.

The closest I ever got to "war" coverage was seeing rocks fly over my head when I was covering soccer hooligans in Rotterdam, so I admire the courage of the correspondents who put their life on the line every day in a real war zone. And I still remember when I found out that a friend, a Reuters cameraman, was killed in Iraq while taping the last few hours of the takeover of Baghdad.

Here's a quote from NBC's Mike Boettcher that shows what it's all about out there: "Baghdad becomes a state of mind almost. You know that the danger is always there, but if you are always thinking about that, you can’t get anything done. You see other media compounds attacked and when that happens, you wonder if next time it will be yours. And this time was our time. But, you can'‚t operate that way ‚— in terms of always thinking,'Is this it?'"

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