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Reporting Iraq: An Oral History of the War by the Journalists who Covered It [Hardcover]

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Item description for Reporting Iraq: An Oral History of the War by the Journalists who Covered It by Mike Hoyt...

“A searing document, one of the most revealing chronicles of the war yet published. It is as though correspondents are talking late into the night, trying to explain what it was like, what sights and smells haunt them, what they're proud of and what they regret, what they saw coming and what they didn't.”
—Anthony Swofford, The Washington Post

The world's best known reporters tell the story of what really happened in Iraq in a gripping and gritty narrative history of the war.

Included are contributions from fifty international journalists, including Dexter Filkins, the New York Times correspondent who won widespread praise for his coverage of Fallujah; Rajiv Chandrassekaran, author of Imperial Life in the Emerald City; Anthony Shadid of The Washington Post, who won the Pulitzer Prize for his war coverage; Richard Engel of NBC; Anne Garrels of NPR, and other star reporters from both the print and broadcast world, not to mention their translators, photo journalists, and a military reporter.

All come together to discuss the war from its beginning on, and they hold back nothing on the violence they faced—Farnaz Fassihi of The Wall Street Journal talks about her near–kidnapping by "five men with AK–47s" chasing her car ("I kept thinking, 'This is it.'") Nor do they hold back discussing how this impacted their work—British reporter Patrick Cockburn of The Independent notes that "One had to spend an enormous amount of time thinking about one's own security," and NPR reporter Deborah Amos observes that it was even more complicated for women: "As time went on we had to dress as Iraqi women, in the most conservative costumes Iraqi women would wear."

But perhaps the most fascinating—and chilling—observation is that most saw a disaster in Iraq unfolding long before they were allowed to report it. As Jon Lee Anderson of The New Yorker puts it, various governmental authorities and the media's own fears combined "to keep bad news away from the public," an observation supported by over 21 stunning, full–color photographs—many of which have never been published before due to such censorship.

Collected by the editors of America's most prestigious media monitor, the Columbia Journalism Review, such revelations make Reporting Iraq a fascinating and unique look at the war, as well as an important critique of international press coverage.
“[A] fascinating account of trying to report on a war unprecedented in its danger for the media.... The reporters' accounts here are notable for their studied neutrality. Blood flows, bodies and limbs pile up. They hear the whistle of bullets and whoosh of mortars.”
Los Angeles Times

“A terrific new resource for understanding what really happened—and is happening—in Iraq. A gritty and gripping narrative history of the run–up to war to the present quagmire.”
The Nation

“[A] harrowing portrait of what it was like to live and work in Iraq as the country rapidly descended into chaos.”

“An excellent oral history… Being conversational, Reporting Iraq is much easier to read than a long news story. It is also blunt, and the reader may be thankful that it is organized so it can be taken in small doses.”
The Seattle Times

“Describes the dangers reporters face trying to cover a conflict where just looking foreign makes you suspicious and where roadside bombs are a random and constant threat.”
The Chicago Tribune

"Free from the constraints of objective journalism, the reporters hold nothing back and paint an almost uniformly bleak picture of life in post-Saddam Iraq…. While Reporting Iraq is unlikely to win reporters any new friends—especially among those who already hold them in low regard— the book offers the serious reader a fascinating glimpse into the mind of the Baghdad press corps.”
The Houston Chronicle

“[A]n intimate look at the stories behind the stories reported out of Iraq. The reporters offer early observations that don't make it into journalistic reports: changes in the expectations that Americans would be greeted as liberators, the personal perils of everyday life, the distancing from the action as Iraqis became more suspicious of journalists, and changes in perceptions of the American mission in Iraq….More illuminating than straightforward reporting."

“The interviews make clear the difficulties in obtaining accurate information during war and insurgency. Many of the journalists developed good working relationships with Iraqi citizens, and they talk about how the war has changed their own lives forever. An enlightening look at the Iraq war.”
Library Journal
Mike Hoyt is the executive editor of the Columbia Journalism Review, the monthly magazine and website that is the country's most esteemed media monitor, and is affiliated with the Columbia University's prestigious Journalism School. Hoyt has worked at the magazine, both as a writer and editor, since 1986. Prior to that he was a newspaper reporter, a copy editor at Business Week, and a freelance journalist. Originally from Kansas City, Missouri, he now resides in New Jersey.

John Palattella is the literary editor of The Nation and former editor at large of the Columbia Journalism Review, as well as a former special projects editor at Lingua Franca. His essays and reviews have appeared in numerous publications, including The Nation, the London Review of Books, Bookforum, Boston Review, the Los Angeles Times Book Review, and the Washington Post Bookworld. He lives in Brooklyn.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   300
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.01" Width: 7.57" Height: 0.64"
Weight:   1.29 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Oct 1, 2007
Publisher   Melville House
ISBN  1933633387  
ISBN13  9781933633381  

Availability  0 units.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > History > Americas > United States > 20th Century > General
2Books > Subjects > History > Americas > United States > General
3Books > Subjects > History > Middle East > Iraq
4Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Social Sciences > Media Studies
5Books > Subjects > Reference > Writing > Journalism

Reviews - What do customers think about Reporting Iraq: An Oral History of the War by the Journalists who Covered It?

Inside the inside story  Feb 25, 2008
This book is remarkable for its previously unreported insights and candor. I suppose the participating journalists have nothing to lose now when they talk about the challenges of reporting the war in Iraq. Still, they illuminate how clumsy the efforts were to control what they reported by limiting access or intimidation. It didn't take long for reporters to recognize the gap between ground truth and what was being pitched from the lecturn. This left a credibility gap that should have been forseen, reducing support for the war, whatever the merits. One story still unwritten is the role of Dan Senor when he headed the strategic communications team from the Green Zone. Did he take orders from others in Washington, or did he create policy on his own? Reporters told me they often didn't trust him, but they had no choice but report his observations. Second sourcing was often impossible. We all know there was little Phase IV planning, but the failure to plan for a credible, effective communications organization ranks high among the unforgivable ommissions. The military spokesmen were more credible than Bremer's folks, but military PAOs were not totally independent. It got to the point where Gen Sanchez and Amb Bremer wouldn't brief the media as a team, or so I was told. High marks to Mike Hoyt and John Palattella for assembling this imporessive undertaking.

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