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Times Editor Chris Lopez's weblog

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Iraq reporting

One thought I had last night, in thinking about Iraq and all I read about it, is that it would be worthwhile to have a segment in the newspaper that speaks to the progress being made in rebuilding Iraq. The problem, as I look into it, is to find that type of content. The funny thing is that just as I began wondering if it was possible to run Iraq Progress Report updates, I find this criticism of the reporting coming out of Iraq from another Knight Ridder journalist. I'll be discussing with the Knight Ridder Washington Bureau the possibility of getting regular updates on progress in Iraq to balance the news stories on the challenges facing U.S. and Iraq military. The point of doing this is not to appease those critical of the mainstream press on its reporting out of Iraq, but to better reflect and balance out the steady news that reports on the challenges the U.S. is having. As a reader of the newspaper, I want better updates on the progress being made as well I want to know the problems we're facing. As one reporter who had recently returned from Iraq to me, it's difficult for journalists to navigate the country to get the progress reports because it remains very dangerous to drive the country. I understand that. I'd still like to find a way to deliver progress updates on a regular basis in our newspaper. I suspect the challenge is journalists feeling safe enough to venture out beyond the safe zones. It's easy for me to be second guessing what I'm getting, and as a journalist who has been in the reporting field on news stories many days, I can appreciate the fact that a reporter in the field is facing many hurdles that we cannot see sitting in the States. I'll have more conversations with Knight Ridder Washington to better comprehend the conditions under which reporters are working in Iraq.


Blogger ContraCostaTimesWatch said...

Mr. Lopez we might suggest that you contact your Department of Defense, they could provide you with volumes of information regarding progress being made in Iraq.

On another level, it verges on insulting for you to suggest that good news coming out of Iraq is hard to find, as is your assertion that you are not doing this "reassessment" to deal with critics complaints on your war coverage which is simply abominable.

You and I both know why good news from Iraq doesn't get published in the leftist media.

Contra Costa Times Watch

5:47 PM  
Blogger Chris Lopez, Times Editor said...

Criticism is nothing new for newspapers. We get criticized every day for something. We get criticized from Republicans. We get criticized from Democrats. We get criticized from readers who have no political leanings. My daughter complains to me when I go home. It's part of the job and the profession. It's healthy and it's part of our daily life in the newsroom. Some of the criticism does result in changes, depending on the issue and what is being recommended. A lot of readers have wonderful ideas and we try to incorporate those thoughts and ideas into our thinking. For example, readers were asking us for more space on our opinion pages. We took those suggestions and expanded our opinion pages to two on Saturdays. I have been forming an advisory board of readers to help me identify areas for improvement and changes, and to use them as a sounding board to get their input. I do the same with our staff of journalists. I have many advisors, some unsolicited, some solicited. It's all good. I love talking to people about journalism. As for my thoughts on Iraq, that's all me.

6:29 PM  
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7:14 AM  

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