Reporting in the Red Zone
Posted on Apr 2, 2006
The American Journalism Review chronicles the perilous conditions under which NPR reporter Deborah Amos and others like her work to get the hardest stories in Iraq—those found outside the Green Zone.
American Journalism Review:
For Deborah Amos, checking her appearance before she ventures outside the protective walls of her living quarters into the wilds of Baghdad has become a ritual: Are the glasses she’s wearing too foreign-looking? Maybe it’s best to take them off. Could the Western-style shoes give her away? Better to change into something more “Iraqi.” Do the scarf hiding her hair and the long, traditional black robe provide enough cover?
Once she is satisfied the look is right, the veteran National Public Radio reporter slips into the backseat of the car, reminding herself that a conservative Muslim woman stares straight ahead, avoiding eye contact with drivers on the road or passersby. The demeanor is part of the disguise as she heads to an assignment in the heavily guarded Green Zone, home of the United States Embassy and the Iraqi government.