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Reporting from Iraq

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With Ben Arnoldy of the Christian Science Monitor


The Fourth Estate. We entrust them with so much: providing us with complete and unbiased news of the world, acting as checks on government and corporations, digging up unpleasant facts, telling truth to power, all the while possibly endangering and exposing themselves in the process.

What’s it like to carry this weight on your shoulders? To put yourself in harm’s way so you can act as the public’s eyes and ears, trying to get it right?

Today we get the viewpoint of one reporter who has been a war and foreign correspondent.

Ben Arnoldy started as an online journalist for the Christian Science Monitor’s website in 1999 and ended up embedding with the U.S. Air Force during the first stage of the Iraq war. He then moved over to the print side to become the paper’s Asia editor for three years. While there, he looked after stories coming in from Afghanistan all the way east to Japan. He went on foreign reporting trips to India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan as well as Australia.

In October 2006, Ben moved over to the national desk to become a full-time print reporter. He is temporarily based in New England before moving to San Francisco to reopen the paper’s bureau there. His new focuses will be technology, California politics, and blue state culture.

Join Ben and Paula B. as they discuss:

  • How he got into reporting in general and foreign reporting specifically
  • What the scope of his reponsibilities has been
  • What it was like being “embedded” with the troops in Iraq
  • What sorts of limitations were imposed on him in Iraq
  • How he felt about those restrictions
  • Why he thinks the Pentagon wanted reporters “embedded”
  • What his living conditions were like
  • What his relationship with the military was like
  • How his editors treated the reports he sent back
  • Whether he feels that he got everything right when reporting from Iraq
  • What happened when the paper tried to do an investigative report on the Afghan drug trade
  • How he feels about the reporting of foreign news to U.S. audiences.

Interviewee: Ben Arnoldy
Host: Paula B
Date: January 8, 2007
Running time: 01:12:33
File size: 53 megabytes
Rating: G
The Christian Science Monitor Web site: The Christian Science Monitor