A friend who attended the Times Magazine panel on Iraq coverage last Sunday (which was reported in the Observer) tells me she was stunned to hear Times Baghdad correspondent Dexter Filkins describe how few reporters from countries beside the U.K. and the U.S. are now there. My friend summarized the point: “Other countries don’t see it as their war, and the risks are too high.”
I emailed Filkins to clarify the point, and asked him Was he already back in Baghdad. He responded:
Someone asked me about other foreign news organizations in Baghdad. I
said there were few reporters left in Baghdad of any nationality. I would
guess there are probably fewer than 50 here now; there were hundreds, maybe
more than a thousand, in 2003 and 2004. There are still some reporters here
for European newspapers, wire services and television, but very few.
And yes, I left [the panel] to go the airport and Baghdad. I’m in Baghdad now.