The U.S. media’s perpetually disappointing coverage of the Iraq war is well documented, and continues to be hashed out on both the right and the left. And for the most part, the media has earned its reputation. But five years in, the earsplitting squall of fervent criticism has drowned out a lot of the good work being done, too, some of which Greg Mitchell calls attention to at TomDispatch.com. Mitchell, the longtime editor of Editor & Publisher, writes:
Allow me—for once—to focus on the positive by suggesting that many of the most critical and important journalistic voices exposing the criminal nature of, and the many costs of, this war have emerged from an "alternative" universe that includes former war correspondents, reporters for small newspapers or news services, comedians, aging rock 'n rollers, and bloggers, among others.
Mitchell’s picks extend beyond the usual suspects. He includes Stephen Colbert, for one (before you roll your eyes, read the essay), and Lee Pitts, an embedded reporter with the Chattanooga Times who was largely responsible for the 2004 outcry over poorly armored vehicles.
It's a year old now, but for an unequaled roundup of reporters' perspectives, check out the Columbia Journalism Review's outstanding Iraq issue (Nov.-Dec. 2006). Splicing together bits of interviews conducted with 45 journalists, CJR's editors constructed a gut-wrenching oral history of war reporting from 2003-2006, juxtaposed with some of the best Iraq photos I've seen.
What's your go-to source for information on Iraq? Compare notes in the Media Salon.
(Thanks, Media Matters / Altercation.)