Topic: Daily Life
Although I have a decent internet connection here in Iraq and can read online newspapers, I really miss reading an actual newspaper. And . . . sadly . . . in Iraq, I only have access to one English language newspaper - Stars and Stripes
According to DoD Directive 5122.11, "Stars and Stripes is a Department of Defense-authorized daily newspaper distributed overseas for the U.S. military community.
Editorially independent of interference from outside its editorial chain of command, it provides commercially available U.S. and world news and objective staff-produced stories relevant to the military community in a balanced, fair, and accurate manner." While I do not know if the paper is truly independent, occasionally it includes stories that are semi-critical about Iraq. I even saw a few that were critical of President Bush.
On the whole, I don't think the paper is that much worse than a local newspaper in small town America. About a quarter of the paper is dedicated to sports, and about half of the paper is heavily dependent on AP wire stories, which means you generally do not get the in-depth reporting needed to truly evaluate what is happening in the world. The stories merely say, "Congress passed this" or "Bush said that" or "three soldiers died in Iraq." The stories typically aren't long enough to say much more than that.
Stars and Stripes does have its own reporters. Most of their stories are feel-good human interest stories or very positive overview of "hot issues." For example, rather than explaining the U.S. government's failure to adequately prepare Iraq's security forces, Stars and Stripes reporters wrote a piece explaining the personal sense of accomplish that one soldier felt by training an new Iraqi army battalion. The story only hinted about the bigger problems that still needed to be addressed.
And in other news
. . . even though the Bush Administration set up the Coalition Provisional Authority as a quasi-nongovernmental agency so it could avoid U.S. government contracting laws and use Iraqi oil money, the Justice Department now contents that contractors that worked for the former Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq can be sued in U.S. courts under an anti-war-profiteering law. Guess they want their cake and eat it too.
Posted by alohafromtim
at 10:33 PM EST
Updated: April 2, 2005 10:37 PM EST