Citizen journalist killed in Iraq

{ Those of us that were in the room during the ‘Video’ session at the Networked Journalism conference in October remember witnessing Brian Conley of Alive in Baghdad basically make a plea to anyone from the numerous large, profitable news organizations at the conference to help out the cause of citizen journalism in Iraq with a contribution.

A call quickly went out to everyone in the building – the notion was that if 4 or 5 people could throw down $4,000 or $5,000 each, that would keep Alive In Baghdad going a while longer. }


Late Friday night @baghdadbrian sent out a message on Twitter that an Alive in Baghdad correspondent had been killed.

He was Ali Shafeya Al-Moussawi, 22.  He was shot 31 times.  It’s not clear if his death was related to the story he was working on for Alive in Baghdad.

Here’s a clip from the post on the AIB blog:

“Ali lived in Habibya, it’s considered as a part of the Sadr city. On Friday the 14th at 11:30pm Baghdad time, Iraqi National Guard forces raided the street where Ali’s house is, one of the neighbors heard a gun firing after 15 minutes from the arrival of the Iraqi National Guard convoy to the street, the force left at 3:00am.”

No matter what your politics are or what you think about this war, if you’re reading this post, the odds are good you believe it’s a good idea to put communication tools in the hands of the people around the world who have the hardest time getting the most important stories to our eyes and ears and hands.

That doesn’t mean it’s an easy job to do — or a safe one.

Put your money where your mouth is: Chip in to help this 22-year-old kid’s family bury him.

Everybody’s Talking Heads

I’ve seen David Byrne’s blog post about a visit to the New York Times in too many places today to figure out where I saw it first.

Here’s my favorite graf:

“At present, it is mostly the ads in the Style section, and the glossy Sunday and T magazines that pay for a disproportionate amount of the newspaper’s running costs. Without the income from Gucci and Rolex, there probably wouldn’t be a Baghdad bureau. (That’s an exaggeration, but that’s the idea.)”

This would make great fodder for any number of grad classes I took at SJSU, especially Bill Briggs’ International Communications class.

Such a hard question. In theory, advertising for the luxury goods at the heart of the darkest corners of the American Dream is what’s paying for the continued survival of some of the most influential pieces of free press in the world.

Interesting little cycle.