Christopher Allbritton, the independent weblog war correspondent has managed to smuggle himself into Iraq. I’m enjoying following his story so much I made a donation (my $25 seems rather measly given he paid $3000 to the smugglers just for entry) and am now rewarded with emails that arrive a few hours before the posts turn up on the website. Very soothing to know he survived the crossing – and the comments to his post are already tearing apart his use of metaphors. Wow.

In my print-based wartime reading I found a piece in today’s paper really interesting: it compares ?sne Seierstad’s reports from Bagdad to Robert Fisk’s. Seierstad is a young Norwegian woman who I became aware of after she spent several months last year living with the family of one of the leaders in Afghanistan, and she wrote a book and several articles about what it was like living among the women in Kabul. Apparently she’s now sending copy from Bagdad to seven European newspapers as well as to Scandinavian papers, radio and television. In comparison to Robert Fisk, the very experienced British reporter, Seierstad is very Norwegian: she reports what she sees but calmly, without excessive emotion and fairly neutrally (looking at one of her articlesthere’s plenty of horror there and her choice of reporting civilian loss and personal grief isn’t neutral but she doesn’t draw explicit conclusions about the causes and blame). Fisk is furious and emotional, which apparently is a British quality. I was a bit surprised at that – aren’t Brits supposed to be almost as cold as Norwegians? Perhaps their journalism is less so?

Fisk writes for the Independent (here’s his latest article) and is reprinted all over the place. Klassekampen, the Norwegian communist newspaper has just bought sole Norwegian rights to his articles. Seierstad writes daily columns in Aftenposten, the Norwegian conservative newspaper, and reports to television and radio too as well as being reprinted and translated a lot. I wonder if they’ll be online

3 thoughts on “views of iraq

  1. Akram Monfared Arya

    I think that ?sne is a very brave woman.

    I wish her Good Luck!

    Best regards!
    A. Arya

  2. Jill

    What perfect timing for you to remind me of this post by commenting on it! I’ve just started reading ?sne Seierstad’s book The Bookseller in Kabul (in the Norwegian original, Bokhandleren i Kabul) and I’m really impressed – yes, she must be very brave, and she writes very engagingly, too.

    And as I’m writing the radio reports that the Bookseller she lived with for six months has only just read the book she wrote about him, that he’s furious with Seierstad’s rendition of him and wants to sue her.

    I’m planning on reading your work one day, too, Akram Arya, it sounds fascinating. Thank you for commenting here.

  3. Robert's blog

    Blog debate
    Via jill/txt:Views of Iraq another Iraq-based blogger. Major debate has erupted on the comments section. This seems to be similar to the old recurring problem on mailing lists that will probably never be solved. After a posting provokes a discussion…

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