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The Sydney Morning Herald and the BBC are reporting that Australian journalist John Martinkus, who was taken hostage in Baghdad on Saturday, was freed after his captors googled him. (Presumably they saw this, or something like it.) The story is that they suspected he may have been CIA or somesuch, and concluded he wasn't. (This would have convinced me, among other things; looks to me that Martinkus is one of the good guys.)

One part of the story that stands out is that the Australian foreign minister Alexander Downer (great name!) criticised Martinkus after he was kidnapped, on account of he was supposedly in a part of Baghdad that he'd been warned to stay away from. (Story here, Martinkus denying it here; links to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, not some other ABC.) Sounds to me as if you can't report what's happening in Iraq well if you don't ignore them when they tell you where it's safe to go. I don't say that journalists have a duty to risk their lives, but when they do it, and something happens to them, you honour them, you don't criticise them.

Thank goodness he survived. If only Australia had ditched this government.

Originally posted to gong on Tue Oct 19, 2004 at 05:15 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I have a hard time imagining... (4.00)
    ...what kidnappers would think if they googled me. Maybe they'd decide I'm some loopy Confucian. That would mostly be a big mistake, and anyway I can't see it helping me anyway. Oh, well.
  •  a good documentary on the journalist in Iraq (none)
    is "War Looks Like War" a PBS POV movie.  It follows several journalists in the build up and start of the war.  
    It was interesting to see footage from the perspective of a camera following photogs.
    While alitlle dated at this point, it still is an interesting doc.

    Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge. -Charles Darwin, naturalist and author (1809-1882)

    by dukestriker on Tue Oct 19, 2004 at 05:34:37 AM PDT

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