"Hotel-Journalismus" aus dem Irak

--- Aus dem Irak ist eine halbwegs normale Berichterstattung jenseits des "eingebetten" Journalismus nicht mehr möglich, schreibt Robert Fisk (Original im britischen Independent, seinem Stammblatt, dort aber nur kostenpflichtig). Die ständige Angst vor Entführungen oder Anschlägen führe zu einer reinen "Reportage" aus den halbwegs sicheren vier Wänden aus. "Hotel journalism" is the only way to describe it. More and more, Western reporters in Baghdad are reporting from their hotels rather than the streets of Iraq's towns and cities. Some are accompanied everywhere by hired and heavily armed Western mercenaries. A few live in local offices, from which their editors refuse them permission to leave. Most use Iraqi "stringers" - part-time correspondents who risk their lives to conduct interviews for American or British journalists - and none can contemplate a journey outside the capital without days of preparation, unless they "embed" themselves with US or British forces. Rarely, if ever, has a war been covered by reporters in so distant and restricted a way. Several Western journalists simply do not leave their rooms while on station in Baghdad. So grave are the threats to Western journalists that some television stations are talking of withdrawing their reporters and crews altogether. Amid an insurgency where Westerners - and many Arabs as well as other foreigners - are kidnapped and killed, reporting on this war is becoming close to impossible. ... "The US military couldn't be happier with this situation," a longtime American correspondent in Baghdad says. "They know that if they bomb a house of innocent people, they can claim it was a 'terrorist' base and get away with it. They don't want us roaming around Iraq, and so the 'terrorist' threat is great news for them. They can claim they've shot 600 or 1 000 insurgents and we have no way of checking because we can't go to the cemetery or visit the hospitals - because we don't want to get kidnapped and have our throats cut." Von einer "freien Presse" kann da natürlich keine Rede sein. Der bloggende Reporter Christopher Allbritton ist auf jeden Fall auch noch vor Ort in Bagdad. Über die Rechercheumstände erfährt man aber wenig, da er das Bloggen nur noch sehr sporadisch betreibt. (Besten Dank an Daniel F. für den Tipp).