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Pulling Out

There's a grim story in Editor & Publisher today on how "the pool of reporters willing and able to report on [Iraq] is shrinking." Most of the top news outfits, including the New York Times and the Associated Press, aren't planning to slash their staffs just yet, but the reporters they are sending to Baghdad these days tend to be relative newcomers, while more experienced hands like John Burns and Tom Lasseter are leaving for, it seems, good. (And who can blame them?)

The other thing to note, down at the end of the story, is that local Iraqis seem to be increasingly less willing to help out Western news organizations, partly due to the steady stream of death threats they get on a daily basis. Over the past few years, it's really been nothing short of astounding that newspapers have been able to report out many of the stories that they do, given the circumstances, but it does seem like the quality of information coming out of Iraq is only going to get worse and worse.

--Bradford Plumer