Times now only British newspaper with full-time Baghdad presence

The Times now claims to be the only British newspaper with a full-time presence in Baghdad.

Regular Iraq correspondent Ned Parker rotates stints in Baghdad with journalists including James Hider, diplomatic editor Richard Beeston and Jerusalem correspondent Stephen Farrel. The newspaper also employs a number of Iraqi journalists.

Times foreign editor Roland Watson told Press Gazette: “It’s such an important story that we feel the only way we can tell it as well as we’d like to is by being on the ground. There are obviously ways of reporting Iraq from outside or from dipping in from time to time and it’s quite understandable given the circumstances why others chose to do it.

"But our thinking is that to do it justice you have to be there and obviously that entails a big investment of time and money and insuring that people are in reasonably safe and comfortable surroundings as best you can.”

Times journalists are not based inside the heavily fortified government Green Zone in the Iraq capital but do attend briefings there

Last month, on the first anniversary of the kidnapping of Guardian journalist Rory Carroll in Iraq, Guardian foreign editor Harriet Sherwood admitted it was an "absolute dereliction of duty" that The Guardian has no full-time correspondent in the country.

For more on this story see this week's Press Gazette.

Picture: Reuters.

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