The Briefing Room

Australian, British Reporters Killed, Others Missing

Terry Lloyd, a correspondent for Britain's ITN, and Paul Moran, from Australian broadcaster ABC TV, were killed last week in Iraq but they were not "embedded" with troops. A cameraman was injured and, at press time, another cameraman and a translator were missing. All three were from ITN. Also missing: Newsday
reporter Matt McAllester, photographer Moises Saman and freelance photographer Molly Bingham.

Arrests In Media Company Protest

About 1,000 demonstrators snarled morning traffic in midtown Manhattan March 27, with a "die-in" aimed at several media companies. About 160 people were arrested. Nearby, demonstrators stood with signs like "Embedded or in Bed?" and "Don't Parrot the Right-Wing Propaganda" Nearby companies include NBC, CBS, Associated Press, AOL Time Warner and its CNN network, and News Corp. and its Fox News Channel.

Un- 'Embedded'

Christian Science Monitor
editor Paul Van Slambrouck said last Friday that the paper does not believe its reporter's interview with CNN disclosed "anything that wasn't already widely available in maps and in U.S. and British radio, newspaper, and television reports." The statement came after reporter Philip Smucker last week was ejected by U.S. Marines from the front lines in Iraq after the Pentagon said he was "reporting, in real time, positions, locations and activities of units engaged in combat."

Illegal to Target Iraqi TV?

The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists says it is investigating the U.S. bombing of Iraqi TV. CPJ acting director Joel Simon said, "Broadcast media are protected from attack under humanitarian law and cannot be targeted unless it is being used for military purposes." The military responded that the facility was used for command and control, said CPJ.

RTNDA Goes to War

With the country at war, the Radio-Television News Directors Association is adjusting its conference. Organizers of the April 7-9 gathering, being held in conjunction with the NAB convention in Las Vegas, have added a luncheon with CNN correspondent Nic Roberts, recently expelled from Baghdad. Other sessions include When (War) News Breaks; War Stories (firsthand accounts from Iraq); The Technology of War Coverage; War Coverage On the Web; and Satellite Imagery and Graphics.

Al Jazeera Delisted

The New York Stock Exchange has revoked credentials last week of two reporters for Arab TV network Al Jazeera. NYSE says it needs more space for networks that investors regularly watch, but Al Jazeera claimed the dismissal was over its war coverage. The Arab network was criticized last week after it broadcast footage from Iraqi TV, which included grotesque images of apparently slain U.S. soldiers.

Al Jazeera has covered the exchange about four years. Nasdaq also turned down the network last week. After being expelled from the NYSE, Al Jazeera requested and was denied permission to broadcast from Nasdaq's midtown Manhattan building. The network had not used the facilities in two years preferring to file its reports from the NYSE. Nasdaq gave no reason for the move.

Be on the Lookout

The Pentagon said last week there is as yet "no evidence" that Iraqis have posed as journalists, as per a warning to that effect issued by Assistant Secretary of Public Affairs Victoria Clarke. The warning was based not simply on speculation, but on "evidence" that the tactic might be used, said Pentagon spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Dave Lapan.

I'm Peter Arnett From Baghdad And You're Not

Veteran war correspondent Peter Arnett, in Baghdad for National Geographic Explorer, NBC News and MSNBC, said last week he gets almost "perverse pleasure" being in the Iraqi capital covering the second Gulf War while his former network, CNN, is not. "CNN is not represented here and the story they are most associated with," said Arnett. CNN dropped him about four years ago.