Only the rich report

Rageh Omaar recently returned to Iraq to catch up with people he has know over the last ten years from reporting there. Operating as a journalist there, he says, has never been harder and increasingly, it is only the rich media companies that can afford to send reporters,

One of the least reported or acknowledged aspects of the dangers of reporting Iraq is that it is now only the richest news organisations that can remain there. The reason is simple – insurance. The costs of sending staff to Baghdad and keeping them there are astronomical: western “security advisers” (“mercenaries” is more accurate) employed by television organisations get paid around £400-700 each a day. Insurance brokers have more of a say than foreign editors on where reporters go. The more high-profile the reporter, the more expensive, and therefore the less likely it is that he or she will be allowed to leave military bases or the green zone unless escorted by armed guards or the military. (A complaint I have heard from John Humphrys, Huw Edwards and Jon Snow.) link