Filkins, 'NYT' War Reporter: 'Anarchy' Curtails Reporting in Iraq

Editor & Publisher:

He estimated that there are probably 50 murders and 20 to 30 kidnappings in Baghdad every day, and said that it had gotten to the point where it was no longer just Sunni-Shiite clashes or insurgent mayhem. “Nobody trusts anybody anymore,” he said. “There’s no law, and the worst people with guns are in charge.”

According to Filkins, the New York Times is burning through money “like jet fuel” simply to securely maintain its operations in the country. In addition to the 70 local reporters and translators, the Times employs 45 full-time Kalashnikov-toting security guards to patrol its two blast-wall-enclosed houses — and oversee belt-fed machine-guns on the roofs of the buildings. The paper also has three armored cars, and pays a hefty premium each month to insure the five Times reporters working there.