Friday, October 26, 2007

Iraqi Women Risk Their Lives -- For the Truth

Source: Editor & Publisher



Six female staffers at McClatchy's Baghdad bureau won a major award this week for courage. Here's how one of them in recent months has revealed, as few others have, the horrific day-to-day life in that country, in blog postings.

By Greg Mitchell

(October 24, 2007) -- For several years now (and counting), brave Western reporters and editors based in Baghdad have had to rely on even braver Iraqi staffers and correspondents to help provide at least a reasonably informed picture of what is going in that country amid almost unfathomable danger. The vast majority of the dozens of journalists killed in Iraq every year are native Iraqis. E&P has hailed them often, but until this year they remained names without much of a voice.

That changed when, early in 2007, the Baghdad bureau of McClatchy Newspapers launched a new blog called Inside Iraq. It is written entirely by Iraqi staffers and E&P has quoted or reprinted items from it more than dozen times in recent months.

Yesterday, six Iraqis who have worked in the McClatchy Baghdad bureau received the International Women's Media Foundation Courage in Journalism Award at a luncheon at New York's Waldorf-Astoria hotel. In introducing the six McClatchy reporters — Shatha al Awsy, Zaineb Obeid, Huda Ahmed, Ban Adil Sarhan, Alaa Majeed, and Sahar Issa — ABC News reporter Bob Woodruff said: "These six Iraqi women have reported the war in Baghdad from inside their hearts. They have watched as the war touched the lives of their neighbors and friends, and then they bore witness as it reached into the lives of each and every one of them.

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