In Iraq for 365

About my experiences in Iraq... the frustrations, the missions and this country... and the journey home

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Journalists

UPDATED LINK

I firmly believe that no occupation exemplifies freedom more than journalism. Of course, the mainstream media has not exactly portrayed the best image. But you cannot argue the premise and purity of journalism. If we didn’t have watchdogs hounding our politicians, stalking our sports stars and celebrities, and holding our military accountable, there’s no telling what kind of country we would have. With that being said, I wish they would report positive news occasionally.

My job in Iraq afforded me the opportunity to work with dozens of media, many of whom were just normal people without a chip on their shoulder. There were also the reporters who were like used car salesmen. I recall a question asked by a Chicago Tribune reporter to an Illinois soldier.

“Wouldn’t you rather be at home watching the Cubs play?”

Of course, he was just baiting the soldier to say something negative. Luckily, the soldier didn’t fall for it. But for the most part, I found reporters to be honest and caring. After all, they were away from home, too, and were subject to the same dangers as us… they just had to report on it.

Yesterday, which was my birthday by the way, a Gannet News Reporter was injured in an attack. He tells his side of the story, at least, what he can recall.

Journalists are good people. Their product is always under a lot of scrutiny, but they continue providing our country a vital resource.

61 Comments:

At 9:13 PM, Anonymous MKL said...

I think more independent journalist are needed, like Michael Yon. A reporter who isn't at the mercy of an editor (and that editor's politics) 3500 miles away is much preferable...

Happy Birthday!!

 
At 6:03 AM, Blogger Always Question said...

Ah, Smink, I hope that what you say is true. I hope that you're able to find a media outlet in 2005 that is not centered on the corporate bottom line. It may be, as you say, that the journalists of today remain true to their profession; but I'm afraid that today Edward R. Murrow couldn't get or keep a job. Today it's about circulation, ratings and ad revenue.

 
At 8:49 AM, Blogger Chris said...

That surprises me about the Trib. The Trib is one of the most conservative papers in all of Illinois. I would think they would be baiting soldiers with positive stuff. Now who in the hell would want to watch the Cubs?

I'm a Cardinal fan.

 
At 2:18 PM, Anonymous kbug said...

hey, Casanova, couldn't get the link to work. Where can I find the story?

 
At 4:35 PM, Blogger FVK said...

Happy Birthday, "Sminklemeyer"!

May you live to a ripe old age!

 
At 6:25 PM, Anonymous Janie said...

Best Wishes to you!

 
At 9:09 PM, Blogger JUST A MOM said...

I'll go check it out Smink, Oh and HAPPY B-DAY A DAY LATE!

 
At 7:43 AM, Anonymous Kim said...

Happy B-day Sminky! BTW...my daughter signed on the dotted line yesterday. You're getting out and now it's her turn to serve :)

 
At 11:36 AM, Blogger Word Grrl said...

Smink, the last couple posts have not been up to your usual standard (interesting, funny, sometimes poignant). Quit slacking off, you're better than this.

 
At 1:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Word Grrl:

I know for a fact the boy is busy. I am sure he wants to write more and write more to your liking, but he's pretty busy with this new girl of his and working on the book. I promise, though, he loves writing and you'll see Mr. Poignant again.

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At 6:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday and thanks for sharing your wonderful writing with us all this time. I check the site daily.

Blenster

 
At 2:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey, just wanted to let ya know your link to that journalist's story appears to go to the wrong location.

it currently links to

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-adv/mediacenter/html/about_contact.html

 
At 5:22 PM, Anonymous kbug said...

Thanks for fixing the link, Casanova. It's a good story, but one that we hear quite a bit these days...suicide bombers and IEDs. There doesn't seem to be anyone reporting anything positive going on in Iraq anymore. I wish we could hear more about the good things...I miss your rebuilt bridge and school opening stories...... :)

 
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