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Victims of the war
Since fighting began, 16 media assistants and 39 journalists have been killed, at least 10 wounded, 4 are still missing and 12 are kidnapped

Press Releases - Reports

19.09 - Iraq
Progress in hunt for missing media workers
Progress is being made in the enquiry into what happened to French cameraman Frédéric Nérac and Lebanese interpreter Hussein Osman, both of the British TV network ITN, who disappeared in southern Iraq two days after the start of the US-British invasion six months ago. No solid clues have been found by British military investigators but searches are under way and US forces are now cooperating.

30.05 - Iraq
Britain and France urged to investigate disappearance of ITN cameraman Fred Nérac and Lebanese colleague
19.05 - Iraq
Journalists down tools at start of EU ministers meeting in protest over Fred Nérac
13.05 - Iraq
Incredulity at British refusal to help investigate disappearance of two ITN crew members
7.05 - Iraq
UK defence minister urged to pledge more help in search for two ITN journalists missing in Iraq
2.05 - Iraq
In welcome but belated move, US army orders enquiry into shooting on ITN crew
23.04 - Iraq
Reporters without Borders not satisfied with replies from the Pentagon and the International Humanitarian Fact-Finding Commission
13.04 - Iraq
CNN crew’s bodyguard fires back with automatic weapon when crew comes under fire
News organisation’s use of firearm sets dangerous precedent
8.04 - Iraq
Reporters Without Borders outraged at bombing of Al-Jazeera office in Baghdad
8.04 - United Kingdom
Media attacked by ministers and MPs for Iraq war coverage
3.04 - Iraq
Iraqi authorities accused of contempt for foreign journalists
31.03 - Iraq
Coalition accused of showing "contempt" for journalists covering war in Iraq
31.03 - Iraq
Reporters Without Borders calls on Iraqi authorities to explain disappearance of four journalists
28.03 - Iraq
Reporters Without Borders makes urgent appeal to all sides in the war to help find nine missing journalists
26.03 - United-States
Al-Jazeera TV station singled out in ban by New York Stock Exchange
26.03 - Iraq
Gen. Tommy Franks asked to order enquiry into death of British TV reporter and disappearance of two colleagues
22.03 - Iraq
Two journalists killed, two missing and two wounded
19.03 - War in Iraq
Reporters Without Borders calls on the US to guarantee that the media can work freely and in safety
11.03 - Kuwait
Ban on foreign journalists passing reports to Israeli news media
25.02 - Iraq
The Iraqi media : 25 years of relentless repression

JM Charon column

Jean-Marie Charon is a sociologist specialising in the media who works at the France’s National Scientific Research Centre. He has written books and articles about journalism. He writes a daily comment on the Reporters Without Borders website about the media’s coverage of the war in Iraq.

Journalist !
(18.04.2003) US troops were preparing to attack the regime’s last stronghold, Tikrit, just a few days ago. But the first shots fired involved Iraqi positions and... a TV crew. (...)

Between the lines
Egyptian media caught in the middle
15.04 - By Kamel Labidi, a Tunisian journalist based in Cairo
Egypt’s powerful state media structure was told by the government at the start of the war to avoid any coverage that might aggravate the feelings (...)

Related documents
RSF 1992 Iraq Annual Report
Journalists killed since 1992
CFLCC Ground Rules Agreement
Extract of the Additional Protocol to the Geneva Conventions on the protection of journalists
Extract of the Geneva Convention on the treatment of prisoners of war

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breaking news

19.06 - Satisfied Pentagon plans to repeat "embedding"

The US defence department’s chief spokesperson, Victoria Clarke, has said the Pentagon was very happy with the outcome of the "embedding" of some 700 journalists with US military units during the war in Iraq. During a conference on 17 June on news coverage during the war, she said people appreciated the embedding and would like to do it again. She added that more journalists should be brought into this process next time, especially foreign journalists.

Journalists participating in the conference said they also liked embedding because it gave them direct access to the front lines and a broader perspective. Many TV journalists said being embedded with marines allowed them both to increase the depth of battlefield coverage and avoid censorship to a much greater degree.

But CNN journalist Bob Franken said he and some of his colleagues had to nuance their reporting out of loyalty to the US military.

Marvin Kalb, a Harvard university professor and former TV journalist, said everyone was very lucky the embedding formula worked out and this was because the war was short. If the war had been longer, there would have been more American casualties and the existing level of enthusiasm in the Pentagon for embedding might have fallen, he said.

19.06 - AFP photographer detained by US troops

US troops detained an Agence France-Presse photographer who took pictures of a grenade attack in a Baghdad suburb that killed two US soldiers. They confiscated his press card and camera for an hour, before returning them and letting him go.

The two US soldiers were killed in grenade attack on the petrol station they were guarding, which had been the site of an earlier clash between US troops and demonstrators that left one former Iraqi soldier dead and another wounded.

26.05 - Difficulties and prospects of Internet in Iraq

The head of the formerly state-controlled agency for Internet services, Shakir Abdullah, said today that he viewed the Internet as "a gateway to the 21st century" for Iraqis. "It will change their mentality," he said.

Since the US bombing destroyed the information ministry’s installations in April, the small privileged minority with Internet access under Saddam Hussein has had no way of connecting. The restoration of electricity and phone lines is so far only very partial. Looters sacked Baghdad’s approximately 60 Internet cafés, which were state-controlled.

Technicians with the former state Internet agency are now working to relaunch an Internet café with 50 computers in the al-Adel neighbourhood with the help of a satellite dish that was rescued from the information ministry and reinstalled atop a two-storey building.

Under Saddam, it was forbidden to use an international commercial service such as Yahoo to send an e-mail message. No chat forums, no opposition websites, no news sites and not even any porn sites. E-mail messages could only be sent through the Iraqi government’s servers, with a copy always being forwarded to the security services, a technician said.

According to TeleGeography, a Washington-based consultancy, Irak is one of the Arab countries where the Internet is least developed.

26.05 - New radio stations established in Iraq

New radio stations have begun to appear since the fall of Saddam Hussein, who kept a stranglehold on the Iraqi news media. But the new stations are firmly controlled by the US authorities who are using them to communicate their instructions to the population.

A radio called the Voice of New Iraq began broadcasting in Arabic from Baghdad international airport on 19 April. The programmes are prepared by former state radio employees and Iraqis back from exile. They are supervised by Mike Furlong, head of news media at the Office of Reconstruction and Humanitarian Aid (ORHA), which was set up by the Americans. The station’s 11 presenters had to sign a form stating they had not belonged to the Baath party.

Hazem Al-Souwaidi, a former presenter with a satellite TV station, insists on the new radio station’s freedom : "We don’t depend on the coalition forces. We will come under the Iraqi government, when one has been set up, but we will keep out independence." Several other radio stations are also due to start up soon. One already established by the Americans at Umm Qasr is to move to Basra, the biggest city in the south of the country.

All these stations come under the Iraqi Media Network, which also includes a TV station and the daily newspaper Al-Sabah.

16.05 - Shiite imam threatens women, alcohol vendors and journalists

Shiite Imam Mohammed al-Fartussi, who controls Baghdad’s impoverished Sadr City (formerly Saddam City), today threatened "sinful women, cinemas, radio and TV and people who sell alcohol" with dire consequences if they did not change their ways "within a week." He told several thousand faithful at Friday prayers at the Al-Mohsen Mosque that local cinemas were showing "indecent" films. "We will treat them differently if they do not change," he warned.

13.05 - Wife of journalist killed in Iraq files charge of war crimes

A complaint alleging war crimes will be filed in the federal court in Brussels today against the US military commander during the Iraq war, Gen. Tommy Franks, by Dima Tahboub, widow of Al-Jazeera correspondent Tarek Ayyoub, killed on 8 April in US bombing of the TV station’s Baghdad offices, and other persons, said their lawyer Jan Fremon. The complaint will be filed in connection with Belgium’s "universal jurisdiction" law.

12.05 - American journalist killed

Elizabeth Neuffer, 46, a senior reporter with the Boston Globe, was killed in a road accident on 8 May as she was returning to Baghdad from Tikrit where she had interviewed former Baath Party officials. Her interpreter, Walid Khalifa Hassan al-Dulami, was also killed. She was the first woman journalist to die in Iraq since the war began. She had been at the Globe since 1988 and specialised in war crimes and human rights, covering the collapse of the Soviet Union and the 1991 Gulf War. In 1997, she won a prize for her articles about war crimes in Rwanda and Bosnia. (16:00 GMT)

12.05 - Kurdish party brings out newspaper in Baghdad

The Kurdish Democratic Party (KDP), led by Massud Barzani, published its newspaper Al-Taakhi (Brotherhood) in Baghdad on 10 May. The paper was founded in the 1970s after agreement between President Saddam Hussein and the Kurds but was closed soon afterwards. The revived paper, which is expected to become a daily, carried an interview with Barzani. The KDP distributed 10,000 free copies of its other paper, Karbat (published in Erbil) in Baghdad on 18 April.

25.04 - Former information minister reportedly hid for days in Baghdad

Former Iraqi information minister Mohammad Said al-Sahhaf hid for days in a poor neighbourhood of the capital at the house of a ex-official of the regime and tried to negotiate his surrender to the Americans through two Portuguese journalists, the Lisbon daily paper Diario de Noticias reported yesterday. The paper told of attempts by its reporter and a journalist from the Portuguese weekly magazine Visão to interview him after they had been tipped off how to contact him. It said they negotiated for five days with the man at whose house he was staying as an unwelcome guest before he finally agreed to see them. But the ex-minister failed to keep the appointment they made. (14:00 GMT)

25.04 - Kurdish newspaper distributed in Baghdad

The Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), led by Jalal Talabani, distributed its Arabic-language paper Al-Ittihad in Baghdad today, announcing it as the first Kurdish paper published in "liberated Baghdad" and distributed throughout Iraq. On 18 April, the other main Kurdish group, the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), distributed 10,000 free copies in Baghdad of its Arabic-language paper Karbat, published in Erbil (autonomous Kurdistan), and said it hoped the paper would become one the capital’s main weeklies. Another recent addition to the Baghdad press has been the Iraqi Communist Party (ICP) paper Tarik al-Shaab, which appeared on 20 April. All the old media under the regime of Saddam Hussein have disappeared. (13:30 GMT)

24.04 - Colin Powell justifies US shooting at Palestine Hotel

US firing on the Palestine Hotel in Baghdad that killed two TV cameramen on 8 April was justified because it was in response to hostile fire, according to US secretary of state Colin Powell. He told Spanish foreign minister Ana Palacio in a letter released today that when threatened or under fire and faced with casualties, US forces were obliged to defend themselves, as when hostile fire apparently came a building later identified as the hotel. The US did not however regard civilians or civilian buildings as military targets, he said.

Two TV cameramen, Ukrainian Taras Protsyuk and Spaniard José Couso, were killed when a US tank fired on the hotel, where many foreign journalists were staying. None of the dozens of journalists who witnessed the incident said they heard any shooting from the hotel or from nearby. (17:00GMT)

23.04 - US embassy in Ukraine says Pentagon is investigating journalist deaths

The Ukrainian foreign ministry said the US embassy in Kiev had told it today that the Pentagon had launched an enquiry into the death on 8 April of two cameramen, one of them Ukrainian, who were killed by a shell fired by US troops in Baghdad. The embassy confirmed the enquiry but did not say when it began.

The Ukrainian government had called for an investigation of the death of Reuters cameraman Taras Protsyuk (35), who is Ukrainian, and Spanish cameraman José Couso (37), of the Spanish TV station Telecinco, after US troops fired at the Palestine Hotel, where most of the foreign press in Baghdad were staying.

22.04 - Communist party is first to bring out post-war newspaper

The Communist Party of Iraq (CPI) has resurfaced inside the country, distributing an issue of its newspaper Tariq al-Chaab (Voice of the People) free of charge on the streets of Baghdad on Sunday, 20 April. The headline of the lead front-page story, under a hammer and sickle logo, was "Fall of the dictatorship." Baghdadis scrambled for copies as it was the first Iraqi newspaper to appear in the capital since official newspapers such as Babel et Al-Thawra stopped coming out on 9 April.

Tariq al-Chaab had stopped appearing in 1979 after a witch-hunt by the Ba’ath party in which some 70,000 communist party members were arrested and imprisoned. The CPI was one of the biggest communist parties in the Arab world at that time. The eight-page issue of the newspaper distributed on Sunday did not indicate where it was printed or how often it would appear. It included several party communiqués datelined Shaklawa in the Kurdish part of northern Iraq. (13:00 GMT)

22.04 - Rush to buy satellite dishes in Baghdad

People in Baghdad are paying between $300 and $350 - a small fortune for Iraqis - for satellite receiver dishes to see foreign TV stations they were banned from watching under Saddam Hussein’s regime. "I’ve sold 50 in three days," said one shopkeeper besieged by people wanting to buy, bargain or compare prices at one of the few shops that have them.

The fallen regime reiterated its ban on the dishes last November and just before the country was invaded the penalties (six months in prison and a $100 fine) were doubled. Only top regime officials and foreign embassies in Baghdad were allowed to have them. However some Iraqis managed to smuggle them in from Kurdish-controlled northern Iraq, Syria or Iran and install them secretly despite tight police surveillance.

One student, Majed Abbas, took the risk of installing one. "Nobody, not even my closest friends, knew I was watching foreign TV," he said after following the war on the three main pan-Arab stations - Al-Jazeera, Al-Arabiya and Abu Dhabi TV. "We put it up at the dead of night and hid it in a pigeon-loft.. That meant I could see how stupid (information minister) Sahaf was when he said the Americans could never take Baghdad." (17:00 GMT)

16.04 - CNN journalists "targeted by Iraqi intelligence"

Iraqi intelligence agents planned last month to attack journalists of the US TV network CNN working in Kurdish-controlled northern Iraq, according to Kurdish police who arrested two men they said were intelligence agents. CNN obtained film of the men confessing that their superiors in Baghdad had ordered them to attack a hotel in Erbil where CNN journalists were staying. The men were arrested before they could carry out the operation, said CNN editor Eason Jordan, who said he met Iraqi information minister Mohammed al-Sahaf last December to get permission to send journalists to northern Iraq. Sahaf warned him it would be fatal to do so. (10:00 GMT)

16.04 - Argentine journalist dies from road accident injuries

Argentine journalist Veronica Cabrera (28) died on 14 April from injuries she received in a road accident near Baghdad in which another Argentine journalist, Mario Podesta, and their Iraqi driver also died. A puncture reportedly caused the crash. Their vehicle was part of a convoy of journalists going to the city. Both journalists were freelances for the Argentine station America TV. Cabrera is the first woman journalist to be killed in Iraq since the war began. Four journalists have so far died in accidents or of natural causes in during the war. (10:00 GMT)

16.04 - Romanian journalist wounded in ambush

Romanian journalist Andrei Nurescu was wounded when his jeep was caught in a dawn ambush yesterday between Basra and Nasiriya, in southern Iraq. He was taken to hospital in Kuwait and will soon be flown back to Romania. He said he and three other journalists (two Italians and a Russian) came under machinegun fire and then there was an explosion under the jeep. He said he had been saved by his bulletproof jacket.

Nurescu (31) works for the Bucharest sports daily Gazeta Sporturilor and sometimes for the privately-owned TV station Antena 1. He went to Iraq as a non-"embedded" journalist to write about sport in Iraq and had crossed the border from Kuwait at night with the help of local guides. (09:30 GMT)

15.04 - Moroccan official denies censorship of Al-Jazeera

15.04 - Moroccan communications minister Nabil Benabdallah has strongly denied charges of censorship made against the authorities by Al-Jazeera’s correspondent in Morocco, Iqbal Ilhami. The journalist said early this month that she had not been allowed on 30 March to file a report about an anti-Iraq war demonstration in Rabat (see 1 April brief) through the usual facilities of the government TV station RTM. "Al-Jazeera is in no way censored or banned," the minister said in a statement in the 12 April issue of Le Journal Hebdomadaire. "The Al-Jazeera correspondent has put out, in quick succession, two items of false news about Morocco." He said RTM had "quite rightly decided it could not continue being party to broadcasting such false news." (1250 GMT)

15.04 - US Marines search journalists’ hotel rooms

15.04 US Marines searched the rooms of journalists at Baghdad’s Palestine Hotel yesterday as part of what Marines press officer Sgt José Guillen said was a check that the hotel, where most of the foreign media lives, was "100% safe." CNN producer Linda Roth said she opened her door to several armed soldiers who ordered her to leave while they searched the room. (10h40 GMT)

15.04 - US soldiers stop media from covering protest

US soldiers ordered the foreign media away from an anti-US demonstration in front of Baghdad’s Palestine Hotel yesterday, saying that the protesters were putting on a show "just for the press," according a US Marine officer. The 300 demonstrators were demanding for the third day running the restoration of public services, especially electricity, and an end to lawlessness, which they blamed on US forces. The hotel is the home of most of the foreign media and of a US military operations centre. (15:30 GMT)

14.04 - Three kidnapped Malaysian journalists freed

Three Malaysian journalists - Terence Fernandez, a reporter on The Sun newspaper, Anuar Hashim, a photographer with the New Straits Times, and Omar Salleh, a cameraman with the government TV station - who were kidnapped on 12 April were released unharmed later the same day.

They had been seized in an ambush in Baghdad by armed men, who killed their interpreter and wounded two doctors as the journalists were going from the Sheraton Hotel to a hospital in the city. Malaysian government radio-TV journalist Yazid Nazim said his colleagues had been well-treated and had been attacked in error, probably by regime militiamen who did not realise they were Malaysian.

The journalists were part of a group of 28 sent to Iraq to report "objectively" on the war by the Malaysian government, which had accused Western media of covering it in a biased manner.

14.04 - Argentine journalist killed in road accident

Argentine journalist Mario Podesta (51), a freelance for the Argentine station America TV, was killed today in a road accident about 15 kms outside Baghdad as he was driving towards the city with other journalists in a convoy of several vehicles. He had covered more than 30 wars as a reporter, photographer or cameraman. Another Argentine journalist, Veronica Cabrera, was injured.

13.04 - Three Malaysian journalists kidnapped

13 April - Three Malaysian journalists were ambushed and kidnapped yesterday in Baghdad by unidentified armed men who injured two volunteer doctors and killed an Iraqi interpreter. Terence Fernandez, a reporter with The Sun newspaper, Anuar Hashism, a photographer with the New Straits Times and Omar Salleh, a cameraman with the state-owned broadcaster Radio Television Malaysia, were abducted while travelling in two vehicles from the Sheraton Hotel to a hospital.

They were part of a group of 28 journalists who were sent to Iraq at the Malaysian government’s expense last week to provide their compatriots with "objective" coverage of the war. The Malaysia authorities had criticised the western media’s coverage as one-sided. (15:00 GMT)

12.04 - Two Turkish journalists wounded in Mosul

Kemal Batur, a Turkish reporter with the TV station Skyturk, and his cameraman Mesut Gengec, were injured by gunfire on 12 April in the northern Iraqi town of Mosul. According to sources in Mosul, they sustained hand and head injuries that were not life-threatening. They came under fire while travelling in a vehicle toward the town’s hospital. Two other Turkish reporters in a second vehicle stopped in order to tell residents that the victims were journalists. The shooting stopped immediately. It seems they were mistaken for looters because of the extensive looting in Mosul in the past few days. (14h00 GMT)

12.04 - Marines discover journalist’s body in Baghdad hospital

Marines of the 1st expeditionary corps have found the body of a journalist at Ibn Al Nafis hospital in Baghdad, US central command (Centcom) said in a statement. They also found two journalists who were wounded when the Palestine Hotel came under fire on 8 April. The two injured reporters have been transferred to a military hospital. Centcom did not name the three journalists or the news media they work for.

11.04 - Towards Freedom, coalition’s new TV

The United States and Britain yesterday announced the launching of an Arabic-language TV channel for the Iraqi people called Towards Freedom (Nahwa Al-Hurrieh in Arabic). They said its aim was to "explain the intentions" of the US-British coalition. Addresses by British Prime Minister Tony Blair and US President George W. Bush carried on the first day were seen by few Baghdadis because of a power outage affecting the entire capital.

The programmes are to be broadcast on the frequencies used until now by the Iraqi state-owned TV channels. They will be presented by Iraqis and will included news and entertainment. The aim is to interest the Iraqi public and to get the coalition’s messages across, the British said.

Towards Freedom is currently between transmitted from "Commander Solo," a specially-equipped US military C-130 Hercules transport aircraft that has been flying over Iraq since the start of the war. The main state-run TV channel has not broadcast since 8 April.

11.04 - Shelling of Hotel Palestine : "one more dirty trick"

The correspondent of a French newsweekly who was in the Hotel Palestine in Baghdad when it was hit by shell from a US tank on 8 April, killing two journalists and wounding three others, says he thinks the Americans deliberately fired on the hotel, where most of the international press corps was staying.

Le Nouvel Observateur reporter Jean-Paul Mari wrote : " The shell, fired from a US Abrams tank, hit a pillar right between two rooms. The balcony overlooked the river bank, the bridge and the fierce fighting that had been taking place since the morning. It was a direct shot. It was not a mistake. One more dirty trick."

Ukrainian cameraman Taras Protsyuk, 35, who worked for Reuters, was killed in his room. José Couso, a cameraman with the Spanish TV channel Telecinco, died later as a result of his injuries. (14:00 GMT)

11.04 - 600 journalists demonstrate to support colleagues

About 600 Greek daily press journalists marched through the centre of Athens today to protest against the war in Iraq and the death of journalists there. The demonstrators, who left their jobs for two hours, passed in front of the US embassy shouting "Americans - killers of journalists !" and carrying a banner saying "Truth is war’s first casualty."

10.04 - Arabs watch Saddam Hussein being physically toppled

Much of the Arab world watched yesterday as the Al-Jazeera, Al-Arabiya and Abu Dhabi TV satellite stations followed live the tearing down of the huge statue of President Saddam Hussein in Baghdad’s Paradise Square. Despite the uneasy relations between many Arab governments and their subjects, the state-owned TV stations in many Arab countries, all of which opposed the US war in Iraq, also showed the scenes of celebration in Baghdad as the regime was overthrown.


Some compared it with the fall of the Berlin Wall, but others saw it as humiliation imposed by a foreign power. A Kuwaiti anchorman chanted "Allahu Akhbar" (God is greatest) as a US armoured vehicle pulled down the statue.

In a change from past practice, the state TV in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Sudan, Jordan, Oman, Kuwait, Yemen, Bahrain, Morocco and the United Arab


Emirates all showed the scenes live. But in Syria, the state TV ran poetry and architecture programmes as the statue was torn down. A news programme showed tanks and some looting but none of the jubilation.

However, as in Algeria and Tunisia, which did not broadcast the events live, many Syrians have satellite dishes and were able to see on Al-Jazeera the events their government media did not show them.

10.04 - Ban on crossing into Iraq

Jordan imposed tight controls today at its border with Iraq at Karameh, preventing many journalists from entering Iraq. A Jordanian policeman told them they could only cross if they had Iraqi visas. He refused to say why the new measures had been taken, adding only that the road to Baghdad was "extremely dangerous." (16:00 GMT)

9.04 - Red Cross chief denounces Danish media

Jorgen Poulsen, secretary-general of the Danish Red Cross, fiercely attacked the Danish media, accusing it of showing "a clean war without faces, without pictures of the terrible suffering of the Iraqi people." He said TV stations had insisted that truth was the main casualty of the war, but for the Red Cross "human beings are the main victims," he said. Danish humanitarian organisations said this kind of media coverage had reduced the generosity of Danes towards the war victims.

9.04 - US media silent on accusations in death of journalists

Except for the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times and the Washington Post, the US media did not report accusations against the US Army in the killing of three journalists in Baghdad yesterday. The New York Times reported they may have been deliberately shot at by the troops. It quoted an Al-Jazeera reporter as saying the US "wants to do some very ugly stuff in Baghdad and doesn’t want the Arab media around."

9.04 - Spain urges its journalists to leave Baghdad

Defence ministry spokesman Federico Trillo urged all Spanish journalists to leave Baghdad after the death of two of them in the past two days. He said the Palestine Hotel, where José Couto, of the TV station Telecinco was killed yesterday, had been declared a military target two days earlier by US-British forces on grounds that Iraqi officials were meeting there. The Spanish media denied their journalists had been told about this. Spain, which backs the US invasion of Iraq, said it would ask Washington for an official explanation of why a US tank fired on the hotel.

9.04 - Al-Jazeera may pull out of Iraq

After the US bombing that yesterday killed Tarek Ayoub, one of its Baghdad journalists, the Al-Jazeera TV station said it was considering withdrawing its staff from Iraq for their own safety. It has already pulled out the reporter it had "embedded" with US troops in Nasiriya.

9.04 - Trapped Arab TV journalists able to leave offices

22 journalists working for Abu Dhabi TV and five from Al-Jazeera were able to leave their offices today after being trapped there since the building was bombed yesterday. They had been forced to stay inside by gunfire between US and Iraqi forces in the neighbourhood, where a presidential palace and the information, foreign and planning ministries are situated. When US troops took control of the area, they were able to come out.

9.04 - Silent protest by journalists in Spain

Journalists greeted Spanish prime minister José Maria Aznar in silence in the Spanish senate yesterday after placing all their cameras, tape-recorders and notebooks on the ground in protest at the death in Iraq of two of their colleagues, José Couso and Julio Anguita Parrado. Aznar waved to the journalists. Other reporters demonstrated outside the US embassy in Madrid.

9.04 - Journalists obstructed in Turkey

Bitte Hammargren, of the Swedish daily Svenska Dagbladet, said the Turkish army had stopped her crossing the border into northern Iraq. She and photographer Jurek Holzer had permission to go to the Kurdish part of Turkey only as far as Cizre, the Swedish correspondent of Reporters Without Borders said. Local people asked them not to take pictures of anything for fear of getting blamed by Turkish police. When Hammargren crossed into Syria, she was detained for three hours without explanation by border police at the town of Qamishly. A Dagens Nyheter journalist, Hans-Henrik Ronnow, said he had been stopped by Turkish soldiers near the Iraqi border and in some Kurdish areas.

8.04 - Al-Jazeera journalist killed

08.04 - Al-Jazeera cameraman Tarek Ayoub (35), a Jordanian, was killed and another of the station’s journalists, Zohair al-Iraqi, wounded in the neck when a missile hit and badly damaged their offices near the Mansour Hotel in the centre of Baghdad.

The station showed film of the wounded Ayoub being evacuated in a vehicle belonging to Abu Dhabi TV. An Al-Jazeera presenter accused US forces of deliberately targeting the office. A US military spokesman denied this.

One of Al-Jazeera’s vehicles, which was clearly marked, came under fire from US forces on a motorway near Baghdad yesterday. The station said its office in Basra was directly shelled on 2 April. Its offices in Kabul were bombed by US forces in Afghanistan in 2001.

8.04 - Two journalists killed

Two reporters - Christian Liebeg (35), of the German news weekly Focus, and Julio Anguita Parrado (32), of the Spanish daily El Mundo - both of them "embedded" in the US Third Infantry Division - were killed yesterday when their unit was hit by an Iraqi missile south of Baghdad.

8.04 - Two Polish journalists freed

Marcin Firlej (27), of the privately-owned Polish all-news TV station TVN24, and Jacek Kaczmarek (31), of Poland’s state-owned radio station, were freed today after being arrested by armed Iraqis yesterday in Al-Hillah, near Najaf. They had been accused of spying and led away blindfolded to a secret place where they were interrogated. When bombing started, an Iraqi civilian gave them back the keys of their vehicle and they were able to return to Najaf. (1400 GMT)

8.04 - Journalists wounded in US attack on hotel

Four Reuters journalists - a reporter, a photographer, a cameraman and a technician - were wounded when their office on the 15th floor of the Palestine Hotel (where most journalists are staying) was hit by a US missile today. A Spanish cameraman from the Spanish station Telecinco was also wounded.

Journalists emerged from the hotel and US troops advised them to wave white handkerchiefs out of their room windows, the Associated Press reported. The soldiers said they had been fired on from the hotel and had seen men there looking through binoculars.

8.04 - Abu Dhabi TV offices hit

Abu Dhabi TV said its Baghdad offices were hit today in a fierce exchange of fire near Republic Bridge as it was filming live two US Abrams tanks coming out of the main presidential compound to take up position on the bridge.

8.04 - Iraqi TV off the air again

The Iraqi national TV station again stopped broadcasting today as US forces continued their advance towards Baghdad city centre. A station run by President Saddam Hussein’s son Uday has been silent since the information ministry was hit by a missile at the end of last month. Radio Baghdad is still on the air but only broadcasting patriotic music and songs glorifying the president.

8.04 - Toll of journalists killed or hurt in first 20 days of war

Six journalists and one media assistant have been killed, two journalists are missing and at least four others have been wounded while covering the war, according to Reporters Without Borders.

A section of our website pays tribute to them. Our figures include journalists whose disappearance is apparently not linked with their work.

On 22 March, Australian journalist Paul Moran, 39, of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) TV network, was killed in a car bomb explosion in northern Kurdistan.

The same day, a reporter for the British TV network ITN, veteran British war reporter Terry Lloyd, 50, was killed in gunfire, probably from US-British troops, near Basra.

On 30 March, Gaby Rado, 48, of the British TV company Channel 4 (part of the ITN group), fell to his death from the roof of the Abu Sanaa Hotel, in Suleymaniah, in Iraqi Kurdistan, where he was covering the war. The circumstances of his death are unclear but do not seem to have been directly connected with any military action.

On 2 April, Kaveh Golestan, 52, an Iranian-born journalist for BBC TV since September 2000, was killed by a landmine in Kifri, northern Iraq.

On 4 April, US journalist Michael Kelly, 46, a Washington Post columnist, was killed when the Humvee he was travelling in reportedly plunged into a canal trying to escape Iraqi gunfire. He was the first of the 600 or so journalists "embedded" with US and British forces to be killed.

On 6 April, another embedded US journalist, David Bloom, 39, of the TV network NBC, apparently died of natural causes, of a blood clot in his lung.

The same day, Kamaran Abdurazak Muhamed, 25, a Kurdish interpreter for the BBC since last month, was killed in an apparently US air strike against a convoy of Kurds and Americans in which 11 other people died and many more were wounded, near the northern city of Mosul.

Belgian cameraman Daniel Demoustier was slightly wounded in the gunfire that killed ITN journalist Terry Lloyd on 22 March. Two others in the group, French cameraman Fred Nerac, 43, and a Lebanese interpreter, Hussein Osman, 28, have been missing since the incident.

At least three other journalists have been wounded since the start of the war. They are Eric Campbell, ABC correspondent in Beijing, who arrived last month to beef up the network’s team and was wounded by shrapnel in Kurdistan on 1 April ; Stuart Hughes, a BBC producer wounded in the foot by the landmine explosion that killed Kaveh Golestan on 4 April ; and senior BBC reporter John Simpson, who was slightly wounded in the aerial bombing that killed his Kurdish interpreter, Kamaran Abdurazak Muhamed, on 6 April. Simpson said the attacking plane was a low-flying F-15 E Eagle fighter-bomber.

7.04 - Thousands of free transistor radios can only pick up US propaganda

Many of 20,000 or so transistor radios distributed by British soldiers in southern Iraq over the past week are set to receive only "Voice of the Two Rivers," a propaganda station set up by the US-British forces, according to the French daily Le Monde. After dropping leaflets from planes as part of "black propaganda" mostly aimed at Iraqi soldiers, the psychological operations was now targeting hostile civilians with "white propaganda," it said. The mobile "Voice of the Two Rivers," broadcasting on five frequencies, puts out music along with messages devised by US "psychological operations" experts with the help of advertising specialists. (0900 GMT)

7.04 - Anti-war radio station gets boost in US

The small US radio station KPFA, well-known in the 1960s and 1970s for supporting civil rights and anti-Vietnam war campaigners, is getting a new lease of life as the voice of opponents of the war in Iraq and claims tens of thousands of listeners in the San Francisco Bay Area. The station, founded more than half a century ago in the university town of Berkeley (California), has four associated stations, in New York, Los Angeles, Washington and Houston. About 50 other stations relay its programmes but their popularity had declined in the 1990s. The US media overwhelmingly supports the Iraq war. (0900GMT)

7.04 - Six journalists roughed up as police arrest anti-war protesters

Police in Cairo set upon journalists covering the break-up of a would-be anti-war demonstration on 4 April. A dozen plainclothes police seized Philip Ide, of the British paper Mail on Sunday, when he left a café after talking with relatives of a just-arrested militant. He was thrown to the ground, roughly held down and his camera seized.

Rhoda Metcalfe, a Canadian freelance for Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) and Radio Netherlands, was roughed up by other plainclothes officers who seized her tape-recorder. Two young journalists from Al Ahram Hebdo were hit. When they went to the police station to complain, they were advised not to do so if they wanted to avoid problems.

Four plainclothes police set upon Laura-Julie Perrault, a reporter for the Canadian daily La presse, when she refused to leave a security area. Her fixer, a journalist with the local French-language weekly paper Al Ahram Hebdo, was threatened with arrest and had her papers confiscated. (16.15 GMT)

7.04 - Two Polish journalists arrested by the Iraqis close to Najaf

Two Polish journalists were arrested on monday afternoon in the Najaf region in the south of Iraq and taken to an unknown location by armed Iraqis, their employers announced in Warsaw.

Marcin Firlej, 27, of 24-hour independent news TVN24 and Jacek Kaczmarek, 31, of Polish state radio, were arrested at an Iraqi checkpoint at al-Hillah, some 130 kms (80 miles) from Baghdad by a group of "five, or six armed Iraqis", some wearing uniforms, other dressed in black. Two other journalists from TVN24, who were travelling in another vehicle and managed to escape, raised the alarm.

The group of Polish journalists had been accredited with a US military unit which they had parted company with on Friday to travel independently. According to TVN24 the Polish foreign minister "was already in contact with US and Kuwaiti" officials on the spot. (10.00GMT)

7.04 - Al-Jazeera accuses US forces of firing on one of its vehicles and one of its Iraq offices

Qatar-based satellite television Al-Jazeera has accused US forces of firing on one of its vehicles bearing the station’s emblem and travelling on a motorway outside Baghdad, without specifying the date nor the consequences of the shooting. In a statement sent to AFP in Doha Al-Jazeera said that its correspondent in the north of Iraq, Waddah Khanfar, was "arrested and then released", without any further detail, and that on 2 April their office in Basra, south of Iraq was the target of shelling. Al-Jazeera recalled that it had provided the Pentagon with all relevant information about the headquarters and lodgings of its correspondents covering the war in Iraq and asked it to "pass on this information to soldiers in the field". In November 2001, Al-Jazeera’s offices in Kabul were bombarded by US forces during the war against the Taliban in Afghanistan. There were no casualties.(18h00GMT)

7.04 - Arrival of Arabic-speaking spokesman at Centcom

The US State Department has appointed three Arabic-speaking spokesmen to the US Central Command (Centcom) in Qatar, two of whom arrived on Sunday, said James Clad, head of the team of spokespersons at the As-Saliyah camp. Until then just one interpreter had been available to give information in Arabic on the daily press briefings by the US army. The British army, for its part, had an Arabic-speaking spokesman at the start of the conflict but he has since been "sent elsewhere", according to a British military source. (17H00 GMT)

6.04 - American journalist reportedly dies of natural causes

David Bloom, a US journalist working for the US television network NBC, died today of natural causes, his employers said. Bloom, 39, who was "embedded" in the US Army’s Third Infantry Division, apparently suffered a pulmonary embolism near Baghdad. He also worked for NBC’s cable affiliate, MSNBC (AFP). (1500 GMT)

5.04 - US journalist killed in accident

American journalist Michael Kelly was killed when a military vehicle he was travelling in plunged into a canal while trying to dodge Iraqi shooting near Baghdad airport, US officials said yesterday. Kelly, 46, who worked for the Washington Post and Atlantic Monthly, was the first "embedded" journalist to die in the war. He was with the Third Infantry Division. A US soldier also died in the incident. (1130 GMT)

5.04 - Iraq lifts ban on Al-Jazeera

The pan-Arab TV station Al-Jazeera said yesterday the Iraqi information ministry had reversed its decision to ban two of the station’s journalists from working in the country. It gave no further details.

The station had announced the previous day it had ordered all eight of its journalists in Iraq to stop reporting after the ban on the two - Diyar al-Omari, in Baghdad, who was forbidden to work, and Taysir Alluni, who was odered to leave the country at once.

The station’s chief editor, Ibrahim Helal, called the ban surprising and unjustified and said the government had no right to tell it who could or could not work. Al-Jazeera continues to report live from Baghdad, Basra and Mosul. It is the only station with reporters in Basra, which is being besieged by US and British forces.

It has been criticised the the US and Britain for relaying Iraqi TV film of American prisoners of war. Several Arab governments have objected to its outspokenness and withdrawn their ambassadors from Qatar, where the station is based.

Council of Europe secretary-general Walter Schimmer recently praised the station’s independence and called for governments to respect its right to freedom of expression. (1130 GMT)

4.04 - Chirac receives wife of French cameraman Fred Nerac

French President Jacques Chirac today received the wife of the Fred Nerac, the French cameraman employed by the British TV news organisation ITN who has been missing in southern Iraq since 22 March . The meeting was "very constructive and positive," Fabienne Nerac said.

"We discussed the various organisations and authorities that have been contacted and the strategy to pursue," she said, adding that she hoped that they would soon receive information from US secretary of state Colin Powell. Referring to Fred Nerac on 25 March, Chirac called for "the maximum be done to establish his situation and locate him."

Nerac, 43, and his Lebanese interpreter Hussein Osman, 28 have been missing since the ITN crew they were working with came under fire on 22 March, apparently from British or US forces near Basra. British reporter Terry Lloyd was killed in the same incident. (With AFP material, 15:30 GMT).


4.04 - British media accused of playing into Saddam Hussein’s hands

Several British government ministers and MPs slammed the British media this week for its film coverage of the war and its instant analysis, accusing it of lacking perspective and playing into the hands of Saddam Hussein.

Conservative MP Christopher Chope demanded in the House of Commons yesterday that the publicly-funded BBC pull its reporters out of Baghdad, charging that their reports of Iraqi government claims meant taxpayers were being "forced to subsidise Saddam’s propaganda machine."

Foreign secretary Jack Straw said on 1 April that the kind of media pressure surrounding the Iraq war would have made World War II more difficult to win. He told a meeting of the Newspaper Society it "might have been much harder to maintain the country’s morale after Dunkirk if live reports had confronted the public with the brutal reality of German technical and military superiority."

Home secretary David Blunkett said on 2 April that journalists reporting behind "enemy lines" and giving "blow-by-blow" accounts of events there were treating the US-led coalition forces and the Iraqi regime as "moral equivalents."

Journalists retorted that they had a right to inform the public and accused the government of trying to muzzle the press. "For Blunkett to suggest in some way that I was a stooge of Saddam is deeply offensive," said the Daily Mail’s Ross Benson. He said he was in Baghdad to report "not what the Iraqis tell me but what I personally see." (1500 GMT)

4.04 - Powell promises enquiry into disappearance of ITN’s French cameraman and Lebanese interpreter

US secretary of state Colin Powell yesterday promised the wife of Fred Nerac, the French cameraman missing in Irak since 22 March, to help shed light on his disappearance. When questioned by Fabienne Nerac during a press conference in Brussels, Powell said he gave his personal undertaking that the United States would work to find out what had happened.

A resident of Brussels, Fabienne Nerac took advantage of Powell’s press conference to tell him : "My husband has been reported missing since your forces fired on his jeep." She criticised that fact that she had received no word from the US authorities despite her requests for information, supported by the French government and Independent Television News (ITN) of the London, her husband’s employer.

Earlier in the day, Fabienne Nerac made public the letter she had just sent to President Bush, secretary of state Powell, defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Gen. Tommy Franks, the commander of the US forces in Iraq. "I think you may have the answer to many of our questions but you are telling us nothing," she complained in her letter.

Fabienne Nerac said that, when her husband’s TV crew was trapped between Iraqi and US forces near the southern city of Basra, the latter had fired on the crew’s vehicles without seeing or heeding their TV and press markings. The fact that they were caught in the crossfire between Iraqi and US-British coalition forces was confirmed by an investigation carried out by a security company, AKE, at ITN’s request. This enquiry established that the crew’s two charred jeeps had been hit by gunfire of various calibres coming from different points.

Fred Nérac, 43, and the crew’s Lebanese interpreter, Hussein Osman, 28, have been missing since the incident, while the body of ITN reporter Terry Lloyd, 50, who was with them, was found in a Basra hospital. Another cameraman with the crew, Daniel Demoustier, escaped unhurt and reported seeing Iraqi ambulances remove the dead and wounded. Based on AKE’s findings, ITN thinks that Nerac and Osman could still be in the Basra region, either hiding, or detained, or wounded, or dead and buried along with the Iraqi victims. (11:00 GMT)

3.04 - EBU protests against US-British restrictions on media

The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) protested today against curbs imposed on media that wanted to work independently in Iraq, especially those from countries not part of the US-led coalition forces,. It said reporters and film crews who had risked their lives had been detained by US and British troops in southern Iraq and sent back to Kuwait. As a result, they had to work almost clandestinely and take greater risks, it said. (1430 GMT)

3.04 - Iraqi TV goes off the air for 30 minutes during the night

The Iraqi state TV stopped broadcasting for about half an hour during the night of 2-3 April after new bombing of Baghdad. When it went off the air (around midnight - 2100 GMT), half a dozen explosions were heard in the south of the capital, along with the sound of aircraft and Iraqi anti-aircraft fire. The state TV building has been bombed several times by US-British forces since the war began on 20 March and broadcasts have often been interrupted. (1400 GMT)

3.04 - US to finance Iraqi opposition television broadcasts

The US administration has approved a grant of 4 millions dollars for a major Iraqi opposition group, the Iraqi National Congress, so that it can resume satellite broadcasting of its programme "Freedom Television," a State Department spokesperson said yesterday. The broadcasts were suspended in May 2002 after the US subsidy of 7 million dollars approved for 2002 was frozen before any of it was disbursed. Several US senators wrote to President Bush on Monday to ask him to unblock the funding. They argued that, since US troops were on the ground and US lives were at stake, the Iraqi opposition group should be supported by all available means. (15:00 GMT)

3.04 - Los Angeles Times fires photographer for doctoring photo

The Los Angeles Times said yesterday it fired one of its photographers covering the war in Iraq because he doctored a photo. The photographer, Brian Walski, admitted using his computer to merge elements from two separate shots in order to have a better-composed picture showing a British soldier helping Iraqi civilians find shelter during shooting. Several civilians in the background appeared twice. The Los Angeles Times said the doctoring, discovered after the photograph was published, violated the newspaper’s code of ethics. (15:30 GMT)

3.04 - Pulitzer prize-winning Iranian news photographer killed by mine

Iranian news photographer Kaveh Golestan, 52, was killed by a mine yesterday in Kifri in northern Iraq while working for the BBC. A BBC producer, Stuart Hughes, was injured in the foot in the same mine explosion, and was taken by ambulance to the US military hospital in Soulemanyeh. The two other members of the BBC crew, reporter Jim Muir and an interpreter, were not injured.

Golestan was the third journalist working for the British news media to be killed in Iraq since the start of the war on 20 March. He had won a Pulitzer prize for his coverage of the Iranian revolution in 1979 and the gassing of the Kurd population in Halabja by Saddam Hussein’s army in 1988 which left some 5,000 dead.

BBC news director Richard Sambrook described Golestan as an exceptional news photographer who had worked to strengthen freedom of expression in Iran and elsewhere and was well known to many Western news media. In 1991, he made a documentary about censorship in Iran for Italian television. As a result, the Iranian authorities had banned him from working in Iran on many occasions.(8h00 GMT)

3.04 - Vietnam and Russia jeer at US censorship

"What’s going on Iraq makes clear the injustice of the so-called annual reports by the US that criticise other countries around the world, including Vietnam," said journalist Do Phuong, a former member of the Vietnamese Communist Party central committee, in an editorial in the government media. The US State Department’s recent critical report on freedom of expression in Vietnam has been followed by mockery by the entirely state-controlled media about censorship during the war. One journalist called the war "a bad play" put on by the US media. The Russian information ministry yesterday rejected the State Department report, saying US criticism of others was "especially ironic in view of the biased war news being put out and the violation of the rights of journalists covering it."

2.04 - Freedom for four journalists detained in Baghdad

Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat helped obtain the release of two journalists with the New York daily Newsday, reporter Matthew McAllester and photographer Moises Saman, who were held by the Iraqi authorities for the week on suspicion of being spies and working for the CIA, according to Ed Abington, the former US consul general in Jerusalem.

Abington, now a Washington-based consultant for the Palestinian Authority, was asked to help by Newsday. He said he spoke twice by telephone to Arafat who agreed to intercede on behalf of the journalists and asked one of his former ambassadors in Iraq to contact the head of the Iraqi security services.

McAllester and Saman called their editors in New York at 18:00 GMT yesterday shortly after crossing the border into Jordan. Newsday said they described their week in Abou Ghreib prison as nightmarish but neither was physically mistreated. They arrived at the border with Danish freelance photographer Johan Spanner and US freelance photographer Molly Bingham, who were also questioned and imprisoned by the Iraqi authorities in Baghdad for a week.

2.04 - Gulf press steps up criticism of "tragic" war

The press in the Gulf states today slammed the high price being paid by Iraqi civilians in the war. Al-Khaleej (Sharjah) said a people could not be saved by killing them. Each day brought a new round of crimes and abuses, it said, and compared US apologies for them with a murderer attending the funerals of his victims. Al-Ittihad (Abu Dhabi) called for civilians to be shielded from the war’s horrors. Al-Bayan (Dubai) accused the US of seeking to terrorise civilians.

The four daily papers in the United Arab Emirates printed pictures of Iraqis mourning their dead. Al-Madina (Saudi Arabia) said war was a human tragedy which turns into disaster when, by error, it led to the massacre of civilians. In Qatar, Al-Sharq and Al-Watan called for an end to the fighting and hoped that anti-war countries such as France, Russia and China would regain the initiative. (1430 GMT)

2.04 - BBC TV crew expelled from Turkish province

Turkish authorities ordered a BBC TV crew on 31 March to leave the southeastern province of Sirnak, near the Iraqi border. The move came after the BBC broadcast pictures of military installations and convoys in the area. Two Portuguese journalists were arrested and briefly held in a military prison on 29 March for allegedly being in a banned military zone in a Kurdish area near the Syrian border. Their Turkish press accreditations were cancelled. (13h00 GMT)

2.04 - Playboy boosts US troops morale

The soft-porn magazine Playboy announced it was sending pictures of women to US soldiers in Iraq but clothed so as not to offend the Arab allies of the US. A magazine spokesman said the idea was to give the troops something to think about. The soldiers could send an e-mail to their preferred model, who would send them a signed photo. The magazine did the same thing during the 2001 war in Afghanistan and the 1991 Gulf war. For the past few weeks, women soldiers have been receiving copies of Marie-Claire magazine with samples of beauty products. (1330 GMT)

2.04 - US tabloid breaks ranks with "Carnage" headline

The New York Daily News yesterday front-paged the killing of seven Iraqi women and children by US soldiers under a giant headline "Carnage." It was the first time a New York paper - especially among the city’s tabloids which broadly back the war - had given such prominence to Iraqi victims of the fighting. The paper printed a photo (unrelated to the shooting in Najaf) showing weeping women and children fleeing Basra in a truck.

The other major New York tabloid, the fiercely right-wing New York Post, chose to switch from several weeks of big headlines about the war to lead on the opening of the baseball season and an injury to a key player. (1400 GMT)

2.04 - Al-Jazeera most popular website, says Lycos search engine

The pan-Arab all-news TV station Al-Jazeera was the most common search term used on the Lycos search-engine during the last week of March, followed by "war in Iraq" and "prisoners of war," Lycos said yesterday. It had leaped from 40th position the previous week when the station showed the first pictures of captured US soldiers. (1230 GMT)

2.04 - Greek union denounces government for bending to US pressure over war coverage

The Greek journalists’ union ESHEA accused the Greek government yesterday of giving in to US pressure by arranging for the repatriation via Syria of 16 Greek journalists and technical staff reporting on the war from Baghdad. Seven other Greek reporters chose to stay on, said the leading Athens TV station Mega. Press minister Christos Protopapas said the only pressure the government had yielded to was pressure to respect human lives and the interests of Greek citizens. The union, which denounced the "illegal and unjust" war, called for coverage of it to be as objective as possible in Greece. (1200 GMT)

2.04 - Australian reporter and photographer detained in Baghdad

A reporter and a photographer working for the daily The Australian were arrested yesterday by the Iraqi police in the Basra region and were taken to Baghdad, where they expected to be expelled, their newspaper said today.

The two journalists, Peter Wilson and John Feder, were being held at the Palestine Hotel, where all the foreign reporters are staying. The Iraqi authorities said they violated the regulations in effect for foreign journalists by moving around the country in their own vehicle (a 4WD). On Monday they were in the Iraqi port town of Umm Qasr where the US and military police were also looking for them with the aim of expelling them from Iraq. Wilson told his newspaper that the coalition forces did not want independent journalists, just ones "embedded" with military units.

The Iraqi authorities arrested and expelled two journalists to Jordan on Monday. They were South African reporter Bonny Schoonakker and Australian journalist Ian McPhedran, who works for Rupert Murdoch’s News Ltd. (11:30 GMT)

2.04 - OSCE deplores bombing of Iraqi television

The US military’s bombing of the Iraqi state TV broadcaster was an "attack on the media," a senior official with the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) said Tuesday.

"Destroying a dictatorship’s media technology is still an attack on the media," said Freimut Duwe, the OSCE’s first representative for media freedom, who also criticised the destruction of Serbian television headquarters during the war in Kosovo in 1999. He accepted that one can argue the need to "silence propaganda" but he pointed out that technicians and cameramen could not be called soldiers and propagandists, and they were killed.

Using the same logic, one could also bomb newspaper distribution centres in Baghdad, Duwe said. Based in Vienna (Austria), the OSCE groups 53 countries of Europe and central Asia, as well as the United States and Canada. (10:00 GMT)

2.04 - War as spectacle is a danger for democracy, says OSCE spokesperson

A senior official with the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) has warned television stations against turning their coverage of the war in Iraq into a "spectacle," saying this could limit public debate in the democracies about the use of force.

Freimut Duwe, a former German parliamentarian and the OSCE’s first representative for media freedom, was especially critical of the initial coverage of the war by the US news network CNN and the British public broadcaster, the BBC, condemning the BBC for going so far as to accompany war scenes with music.

War was being turned into a spectacle while the world was entering a new stage of its history, Duve said in an interview for AFP. Much of the population was following this war without understanding the reality, and this was a danger for democracies, he said. (10:30 GMT)

1er.04 - Two Iranian journalists file a complaint against Bush and Blair

Two Iranian journalists have filed a complaint against US President George W. Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair with a court in Iran for the bombardment of the Iraqi national radio and TV broadcaster. They registered the complaint with the court of Neishabur which reportedly plans to transfer it to the International Court of Justice in the Hague. Iran has said its position on the war in Iraq is one of "active neutrality." (09:30 GMT)

1er.04 - Peter Arnett fired by NBC, Fox News reporter Rivera expelled

War correspondent Peter Arnett, 68, famed for his reporting from Baghdad during the first Gulf war in 1991, was fired Monday by the US network NBC for criticising US strategy in an interview for Iraqi TV.

In the interview, broadcast Sunday, Arnett said the first war plan had failed because of the Iraqi resistance and that the US strategists had clearly misjudged the determination of the Iraqi forces. A New Zealander, Arnett was already fired by CNN in 1998 for his involvement in a report which alleged that the US military used nerve gas on US deserters during the Vietnam War.

Another US television star, Geraldo Rivera of Fox News, was expelled from Iraq by the US military on Monday for revealing the location of the US military unit he was travelling with. A week earlier, Christian Science Monitor stringer Phil Smucker, who was not one of the 600 journalists who have been "embedded" in coalition units, was escorted back to the Kuwaiti border for the same reason. (10:30 GMT)

1er.04 - Bogus war correspondent

The state-owned radio station’s listeners in Ngwane (also known as Swaziland) last weekend lost their presumed war correspondent in Baghdad when it emerged that he was broadcasting his live dispatches from Mbabane, the capital of this tiny southern African nation. A parliamentarian put an end to the deception when he asked the information minister : "Why are we letting the country believe this man is risking his life in Iraq when he stayed here and is broadcasting from a broom cupboard ?" The minister ordered an enquiry. (14:30 GMT)

1er.04 - Malaysia sends its own journalists to Iraq for "objective" coverage

The government of Malaysia has decided to send 30 journalists to Iraq so as not to continue depending on the western media, which it accuses of bias. "We don’t want to depend on the foreign media because their reporting is not based on neutrality," said foreign minister Syed Hamid Albar, who reportedly received complaints about the BBC’s and CNN’s coverage.

The journalists the from Malaysian TV and print media and the official news agency Bernama will be financed by the government and will be accompanied by representatives from several ministries. The group is to visit Damascus, Amman, Doha and Kuwait this week before trying to enter Iraq. Malaysia has a Muslim majority. (15:00 GMT)

1er.04 - Morocco censors Al Jazeera report

Moroccan authorities refused to allow Iqbal Ilhami, local correspondent of the pan-Arab TV station Al-Jazeera, to transmit a report on 30 March about an anti-Iraq war protest in Rabat, which included an interview with a banned broadcaster. Communications minister Nabil Benabdallah later warned her she would have to show "more cooperation" with the authorities in the future and promise "never again" to put out news that "disturbed public order" in Morocco.

Ilhami’s report contained an interview with housing minister Mohamed Lyazghi and satirical broadcaster Ahmed Sanoussi ("Bziz"), who has been banned from national TV and radio for the past 15 years. When she went to transmit it as usual from the RTM state TV studios to Al-Jazeera headquarters in Qatar, officials made excuses and did not send it. She learned why when she phoned minister Benabdallah. (15:30 GMT)

1er.04 - News film clubs

Since the start of the war in Iraq, citizens of Guinea-Bissau who cannot afford their own satellite dishes have been flocking to film clubs in Bissau to follow the news reports of the international TV stations, which have replaced Indian films and American B movies in popularity. Sellou Diallo, a film club operator, said he had doubled his turnover since the start of this war, especially at 8 p.m. with the evening news of TV5 and Canal France International (CFI). (17:30 GMT)

1er.04 - Diversity of news in Peru

Peruvian television stations are carrying news reports from Arab stations, marking a break with their tradition of taking their lead from the US media, which are being accused of "bias" and of "concealing aspects of the war." The TV channel America has also hired an Arabic-language interpreter to give a simultaneous translation of the news broadcasts of Al-Manar, the television station of the Lebanese Shiite movement Hezbollah. Another Peruvian TV channel, Frecuencia Latina, is picking up the reports of the Qatar-based news station Al Jazeera. (17:35 GMT)

1er.04 - Politically incorrect cartoon

Ali Farzat, a famous Syrian cartoonist, was lambasted today for the second day running by the government daily Techrine because of his cartoons criticising Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. The newspaper said it had been contacted by many readers complaining that Farzat was "mocking the heroic Iraqi army and adopting the misleading language of the Americans, which targets Iraq and its people and thereby the entire Arab nation." Farzat is the owner and editor of the weekly Addomari, the first and only satirical newspaper to be authorised in Syria since 1963. Addomari has been published since February 2001, not without some difficulty due to government constraints. (17:40 GMT)

1er.04 - Two journalists detained in Turkey

Two Portuguese journalists, Jornal de Noticias deputy editor Alfredo Leite and José Manuel Rosendo, a reporter with the state-owned radio broadcaster RDP, were detained by plain-clothes agents on 29 March in southern Turkey after entering a forbidden military zone in an area with a Kurdish majority near the Syrian border. Leite said : " We had been reporting in a Kurd village. At the entrance to the village, a soldier let us through. There was no sign saying we were in a forbidden military zone." They were held for a few hours in a military prison at Cizre before being released. Their accreditation was confiscated, however. (17:45 GMT)

1er.04 - China : pro-American writer censored

Best-selling writer Yu Jie has told the news agency Reuters he has been censored because of his position in support of the US intervention in Iraq. He said his articles are now banned in the official press and the petition in support of the US-British coalition he had posted on Chinese Internet sites has been taken down by discussion forum "censors." In his last article, in the liberal weekly Ershiyi Shiji Huanqiu Baodao (World Messenger of the 21st Century), the second half of the original headline, "The war in Iraq and the supremacy of human rights," was edited out. Since then, the weekly has been temporarily been closed. Last year, Yu lost his job with a state educational establishment after criticising the very anti-American content of Chinese school textbooks. (18h30 GMT)

30.03 - Italian journalists taken to Baghdad by Iraqi police

The different media employing seven Italian journalists arrested by Iraqi forces in Basra on 28 March said the Iraqis had taken them to Baghdad and freed them. They were reportedly in good health at the Hotel Palestine. Meanwhile, 16 journalists and technicians from several Greek TV stations left Baghdad for Syria for security reasons. (GMT 4 pm)

30.03 - "Embedded" journalists banned from using sat-phones

The US military command said yesterday some combat units had banned "embedded" journalists from using Thuraya sat-phones for "operational security reasons." They refused to say what technical considerations led to the decision, but the phones, made by a firm based in the United Arab Emirates, transmit the GPS location of the user, allowing the Iraqis to pinpoint where the troops are. (GMT 4 pm)

29.03 - Crew from Al-Arabiya resurfaces

Three missing journalists from the Al-Arabiya TV station made contact with their families on 28 March and said they were in good health in southern Iraq with British forces. A station official said the three (a Syrian and two Lebanese) had not been been able to get in touch with their office or families for the past week. (GMT 5 pm)

29.03 - Danish photo-journalist missing

The Danish daily paper Jyllands-Posten said on 28 March it had not heard for three days from its photo-reporter Johan Spanner, 28, who is believed to have been arrested in Baghdad on 25 March by Iraqi security forces. He had entered Iraq on a tourist visa with a group of Western "human shield" anti-war protesters. (GMT 5 pm)

29.03 - Information ministry hit in missile attack

US Tomahawk missiles hit the information ministry in Baghdad today, damaging most of the rooftop satellite antenna of foreign TV stations installed there and causing some damage to the building itself, including the offices of the French news agency AFP. The windows of the press centre next door were shattered. (GMT 2 pm)

29.03 - Eight missing journalists found near Basra

Seven Italian reporters, as well as a cameraman of the pan-Arab TV station Al-Jazeera, who vanished near Basra on 28 March were found unharmed today. The Italians, in a convoy of five press vehicles, had gone into the city suburbs despite warnings from British troops and were reportedly arrested by armed Iraqis. The cameraman had come under fire from British troops and had fled back into the besieged city. They were found by the Al-Jazeera correspondent in the city.(GMT 2 pm)

29.03 - Four journalists arrested and roughed up by US military police

Luis Castro (reporter) and Victor Silva (cameraman), of the state-owned Portuguese TV station RTP, Dan Scemama, a reporter with Israeli state TV, and Boaz Bizmuth, a reporter for the Israeli daily Yediot Aharanot, were held in a jeep for 36 hours by US military police near Najaf and accused of being spies and terrorists. The two Israelis had no press permits to be in the area. Scemama said later on TV they were held at gunpoint for many hours before being freed by a US officer who apologised to them. (GMT 1pm)

29.03 - "The worst 48 hours of our lives" - four journalists held by US military police

Reporter Luis Castro and cameraman Victor Silva of the Portuguese state-owned TV channel RTP, Israeli public television reporter Dan Scemama, and Boaz Bizmuth, a reporter for the Israeli daily Yediot Aharonot, were detained for more than two days by US military police near Najaf in the centre of Iraq. They were arrested on the night of 25 March and were released on 28 March in Kuwait. The US military interrogated the four journalists aggressively during the night of 25 March after accusing them of being "spies." The two Israeli journalists did not have accreditation for the area where they were arrested. The soldiers shut the journalists in a jeep for about 36 hours, during which time they were barred from communicating with the outside world. Scemama said on the air afterwards that he had spent "the worst two days of his life." He reported that "they accused us of being terrorists despite our explanations, and pointed their guns at us for hours." They were freed thanks to the intervention of a US officer who apologised for the incident.

28.03 - Greece offers its journalists a ticket home

Greek information minister Christos Protopapas offered to pay for all 16 Greek journalists in Baghdad to return home "We’re afraid they may get killed," he said at his daily press conference. "They’re doing an important job and I congratulate them, but their lives are more important."
He had twice urged them to leave the city "for their own safety" before the war started, but without offering free tickets. (1700 GMT)

28.03 - War news or a soap-opera ?
Students brawl in Bangladesh

Police were called in to break up a free-for-all between hundreds of students at a dorm in Rajshahi University(230 kms northwest of Dhaka) over whether to watch news of the war on TV or a popular soap-opera.
About 50 people were injured in the 27 March clash. Bangladeshis, who are mostly Muslim, have strong views about the war and the government has called on the media to handle news about it with care and balance. (1500 GMT)

28.03 - Pentagon expels reporter from Iraq

Philip Smucker, a stringer for the Christian Science Monitor (USA) and the Daily Telegraph (UK), was ordered by the Pentagon to leave Iraq for allegedly revealing the position of the US Marine unit he was with during an interview with CNN.
Smucker, 41, an American based in Cairo, will be transferred elsewhere in the region, the Christian Science Monitor said. The paper’s editor, Paul Van Slambrouck, said the journalist had revealed nothing not already reported in the US and British British media. He said the military seized Smucker’s equipment on 26 March and removed him from the front line the next day. (1600 GMT)

27.03 - Arab TV crew missing

For the past six days, the Dubai-based TV channel Al-Arabiya has received no word from one of its TV crews covering the war.The three-member crew, consisting of Syrian reporter Waël Awad, Lebanese cameraman Faouzi Al-Masri and Lebanese technician Ali Hassan Safa, was "embedded" in the US army’s 101st airborne division, which entered Iraq from Kuwait as soon as the war began on 20 March. Al-Arabiya lost contact with the crew on the third day of the war, when it was between Al-Zubair and Nassiriyah. The Pentagon said it had no record of any casualties among the press in that area. (1230 GMT)

27.03 - Colin Powell criticises Al Jazeera

US Secretary of State Colin Powell criticised the Qatar-based satellite TV news channel Al Jazeerawednesday, accusing it of lacking objectivity in its coverage of the US offensive against Iraq. In an interview for National Public Radio, Powell said he regretted the fact that the Arabic-language channel was portraying the US intervention in a negative light and was exaggerating Iraq’s military successes. (12.00 GMT)

27.03 - Iraqis release two Iranian journalists

The Iranian reporter and cameraman who were captured Monday evening in the Fao region by Iraqi authorities after clandestinely crossing the border from Iran, were releasedand handed over to the Iranian authorities Wednesday afternoon, we learned from the son of one of the journalists. They are now en route to Tehran. Working for television channels in the United Arab Emirates and Lebanon, they were caught when they crossed the Chatt al-Arab in a boat with the aim of covering the fighting in Fao. The Iraqis beat them and confiscated all of their equipment. (1015 GMT)

26.03 - Massive" cyber-attack on Al-Jazeera website

Hackers this monday morning blocked access to the website of the pan-Arab TV station Al-Jazeera. Editor-in-chief Abdel Aziz Al-Mahmud told AFP it had been overwhelmed by a "massive" cyber-attack after posting online controversial pictures of US soldiers killed in the war. The TV station is otherwise doing well and since the start of the war its audience has risen by 10 per cent to about 40 million around the world. (1500 GMT)

25.03 - The Pentagon spares Iraqi TV

Does the Iraqi regime’s continuing control of radio and TV broadcasting from Baghdad prove that President Saddam Hussein is in "full control" of the state, as his deputy prime minister Tariq Aziz said ? No, according to Pentagon spokesman Victoria Clarke, who said US bombers had spared the studios because a human shield had been placed around them. (1400 GMT)

25.03 - Two Iranian journalists arrested by Iraqis

Iranian reporter Ali Montazeri and cameraman Abdolreza Abbasi, both of the satellite TV station Dubai Television, were arrested by Iraqi civilians on 24 March soon after crossing the Iranian border with Iraq at Arvand Kenar, on their way to the Al-Faw peninsula. Montazeri’s son, who saw them being picked up, said the Iraqis seemed to be state security agents. (with AP) (1330 GMT)

25.03 - Fabienne Nerac appeals to Chirac to help

Fabienne Nerac, wife of disappeared French cameraman Fred Nerac, has called on French President Jacques Chirac and other French figures to help find her husband, according to the British TV network ITN. Nerac, 43, was in an ITN crew led by reporter Terry Lloyd, who was killed in shooting on the road to Basra on 22 March. Nerac and Lebanese interpreter Hussein Osman, 28, disappeared in the incident. Mrs Nerac wants French officials to get permission from the Iraqis for permission to search the area. She still believes her husband may be alive. (1215 GMT)

25.03 - The war live on TV in China

For the first time in the history of the Chinese state media, a war is being covered live. The first US military strikes have been shown on the national stations CCTV1, CCTC4 and CCTV9 which have gone on to broadcast many live reports by their special correspondents in the Gulf and at the United Nations. Chinese viewers have also been able to listen to US President George W. Bush speaking and see pictures of bombing in Baghdad shown by the US network CNN.
Journalist comments have been in line with the Beijing government’s anti-war position. The main Chinese Internet news websites are carrying a large amount of material, mostly by the official news agency Xinhua. Discussion forums have been deluged with thousands of messages, mostly anti-US.
A hundred or so Chinese journalists from media such as the People’s Daily and the state-run CCTV have been sent to Iraq, Turkey, Qatar and Kuwait, giving China coverage of the war independent of the Western media. Gao Wenxiang, head of Beijing University’s journalism school, said : "It is unrealistic to expect the Chinese war coverage to instantly match the breadth and depth of the more established media, but, given time, competition would bring progress. The war presents an opportunity for professional improvement of Chinese journalists." (5.30 pm GMT)

25.03 - Bangladesh media warned about coverage of war

On 20 March, the government imposed restrictions on media coverage of the Iraq war, ordering journalists to "carefully handle" news about the war and reaction to it in Bangladesh. The Daily Star reported that after repeated demands by the US embassy in Dhaka, the foreign ministry asked the state-run radio station Bangladesh Betar, the government station Bangladesh Television and the official news agency Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BBS) "not to highlight statements in favour of Iraq and demonstrations against the USA" taking place in the country. (3.30 pm GMT)

25.03 - Al-Jazeera journalists beaten during anti-US protest in Khartoum

Al-Jazeera reporter Islam Salih and his cameraman Mohammed el-Hassan were hit by police on 22 March while covering a student anti-war demonstration near the US embassy in Khartoum (10.35 am GMT)

25.03 - Journalists attacked by Cairo police

During police dispersion of anti-war protests in Cairo between 20 and 22 March, an Egyptian state TV cameraman was injured and his camera damaged, a cameraman for Al-Jazeera was beaten by police and Los Angeles Times stringer Hossam el-Hamalawy was arrested in the street by plainclothes police. El-Hamalawy was freed 10 hours later after being forced to promise in writing that he would not take part in any violent demonstrations. On 20 March, he had been hit by police with truncheons (10.20am GMT).

25.03 - CNN journalist expelled from Iraq

Croatian journalist Robert Valdec, of the daily paper Jutarnji list and TV station CCN (Croatian Commercial Network), was expelled from the country on 22 March after starting to work for the US network CNN. He had been hired after CNN’s team was expelled. He was escorted by police from his hotel at gunpoint and taken to the Jordanian border and later arrived in Amman. (3.15 p.m.GMT)

25.03 - Canadian TV not bothered about Geneva Convention

The privately-owned Canadian network CTV and the publicly-owned Radio Canada justified broadcasting pictures of dead and captured US soldiers by saying it was to balance the fact that US media had allowed their journalists to film Iraqi prisoners. The stations denied violating the Geneva Convention, saying it only applied to media of the countries at war. (8 15 a.m.GMT)

24.03 - Kuwait bans Israeli journalists

Kuwait, which has no diplomatic relations with Israel, is refusing to allow special correspondents of Israeli media into the country. A few Israeli journalists with double nationality and working for international media have managed to get round the ban. Caroline Glick, of the Chicago Sun Times, was made to promise she would not write anything for the Jerusalem Post, which belongs to the same media company. The special correspondent of the Israeli daily Haaretz, which is refusing to use "hidden" reporters, was not allowed into Kuwait.

24.03 - Dramatic pictures printed in UK

Most British papers today printed big pictures of US prisoners of war and the BBC re-broadcast film of them from the pan-Arab TV station Al-Jazeera, after saying the day before it would not not do so. "Still anti-war ? Yes, bloody right we are," said the Daily Mirror in a comment on the pictures. The British government said on 23 March that publication and showing of the pictures violated the Geneva Convention.

24.03 - Two Al-Jazeera journalists beaten in Kurdistan

The pan-Arab TV station Al-Jazeera broke into its programmes to announce that two of its journalists had been arrested and beaten by supporters of the Kurdistan Patriotic Union. The two men, who were soon freed, had just broadcast live from the town of Chamchamal, near the border between autonomous Kurdistan and the rest of Iraq.

24.03 - 500 journalists holed up in Jordan

About 500 special correspondents of all nationalities have been holed up since 22 March at police checkpoints in the Jordanian village of Rweished, about 40 km from the Iraqi border. Many of the journalists suspected this was to stop them witnessing activity by US special forces operating from Jordan. They reported a lot of helicopter and aircraft movements at the local airport. A CNN crew who filmed a plane landing were taken to Amman by special police agents and the film confiscated.

24.03 - Saudi press wins prize for no bias

Saudi information minister Fuad Ben Abdul-Salam called on Saudis to ignore foreign media reporting on the war, saying it was biased, and to watch instead the country’s own media, which he said was truthful and objective.

23.03 - Three journalists "may have been killed"

The US army said three journalists covering the entry of US forces into Iraq may have been killed or wounded. Gen. Guy Shields, head of the press and information centre in Kuwait, asked journalists not to cross the border into Iraq until the area had been secured.

23.03 - US umbrella offered

The US army rescued 24 journalists in the border area with Kuwait and escorted them to safety. They had been travelling with a military convoy when they came under fire near Umm Qasr.

23.03 - CNN team arrive in Jordan

Four journalists working for the US TV network CNN arrived safely in Jordan after being expelled from Baghdad. Two days earlier, an Iraqi official had ordered them to leave, saying they were "worse than the US administration." One of the journalists called the expulsion "ludicrous." This is the third time CNN journalists have been expelled from Iraq since the network opened an office there in 1990. Journalists from the Associated Press (AP) news agency and the TV networks MSNBC, NBC and ABC are still in Baghdad, along with several other foreign reporters.

23.03 - ITN team missing

The fate of three journalists of a team from the British Independent Television News (ITN), is still unknown and the station said it was getting increasingly worried about them. A jeep carrying British reporter Terry Lloyd, French cameraman Fred Nerac and Lebanese interpreter Hussein Osman, came under fire on 22 March at Iman Anas, near the southern city of Basra. Another ITN cameraman, Daniel Demoustier, who was wounded but managed to escape from his burning vehicle, said the group were going to Basra in two jeeps. As they were turning round after finding the way blocked by Iraqi soldiers, both jeeps were fired at by tanks of US-British coalition forces and bullets smashed the windows and ripped the insides, the British paper Mail on Sunday quoted Demoustier as saying. ITN did not quote these accusations by its cameraman in its news programme on 22 March.(14.00 GMT).

23.03 - Paul Moran victim of reprisals, minister says

Australian foreign minister Alexander Downer said the 22 March car bomb in Iraqi Kurdistan that killed ABC TV cameraman Paul Moran was quite clearly a reprisal by the Al-Qaeda linked extremist group Ansar al-Islam for US attacks in the area. Officials of the Kuridstan Patriotic Union also blamed Ansar al-Islam.

22.03 - No-man’s-land for media in Turkey

The Turkish army banned journalists from going within 10 kms of the border with Iraq.

21.03 - CNN team expelled

The US TV network CNN said its four journalists stationed in Baghdad were expelled from the country. CNN has been broadcasting live from the city since the start of the war.

21.03 - Jordan stops journalists entering Iraq

Journalists were no longer allowed to enter Iraq from Jordan. The Jordanian embassy in France confirmed that the border area, where reception facilities for refugees from Iraq have been set up, had been declared out of bounds to journalists but said it might be open again tomorrow.

21.03 - No "Baghdad by night" for Arab TV

During the night of 20-21 March, journalists in Baghdad from the Arab TV stations Al-Jazeera, Al-Arabya and Abu Dhabi TV were not allowed the leave their offices. Only firemen, ambulance teams, armed Baath Party militants and soldiers were allowed out, one of them said.

21.03 - Waiting for the news

The first briefing since the start of the war, at the Centcom military command centre in Qatar, to be held by British and Australian officials, was cancelled 15 minutes before it was due to start. A British official announced the cancellation, which was at the request of the US military, whose Centcom spokesman, Capt. Frank Thorp, told journalists they would have to wait and that when there was news, it would be given to them.

20.03 - US starts broadcasting on Iraqi frequency

The United States began broadcasting over Iraqi radio. The main Iraqi radio frequency was appropriated by the US army as the first bombardments began at dawn. The new presenter announced that the Saddam Hussein government was under attack.

20.03 - Iraqi TV cut before Saddam speech

The Iraqi satellite television service was interrupted at around 05:20 GMT, shortly before a speech by President Saddam Hussein began to be broadcast.

20.03 - Journalists barred from moving around Baghdad

The French 24-hour news channel LCI reported that journalists could no longer move about Baghdad freely. Some were taken around the city for an hour but were forbidden to talk to people in the street or approach targets that had been bombed.

20.03 - Kuwait stops issuing visas

Approval of all visa requests by journalists wanting to go to Kuwait was suspended until further notice.

20.03 - Black-out in Qatar

In Doha (Qatar), hundreds of journalists from all over the world waited in vain all day for a full press briefing on the military operations under way. The brand-new media centre was just a few dozen metres from the US military headquarters (Centcom), but US officials did no more than confirm in writing news given by the TV networks. British defence ministry officials also said nothing.

20.03 - British black-out

A British defence ministry spokesman told AFP the government had decided on a black-out of all information about US and British military operations in Iraq. The ministry would refuse to confirm any reports from journalists in the war zone, he said.

20.03 - Russia calls on journalists to leave

The foreign ministry in Moscow called on the Russian media to pull its journalists out of the war zone fore safety reasons. Twenty-six Russian journalists are currently in Iraq.

20.03 - France urges journalists to leave

A foreign ministry spokesman strongly advised French journalists to immediately leave Iraq for their own safety.

19.03 - Turkish journalists undesirable in Kurdistan

Nizammetin Kaplan, a reporter for the Turkish 24-hour news channel NTV, announced on the air that Kurdish soldiers had just forced him to leave the town of Zaho, in Iraqi Kurdistan, the autonomous region in northern Iraq. He said fellow NTV journalist Ibrahim Atesoglu and TV8 correspondent Fuat Kozluklu had also been forced to leave Zaho and that it was becoming increasingly difficult to work in northern Iraq.

19.03 - CNN moves to hotel

CNN was the only US television network with a team still in Baghdad after CBS evacuated its correspondents for security reasons. CBS correspondent Lara Logan was waiting at the Jordanian border to reenter Iraq. Like most of the other news media, CNN left the Iraqi information ministry, considered a potential target, and began broadcasting from a Baghdad hotel.

19.03 - Journalists’ sat-phones confiscated

The Turkish 24-hour news channel NTV’s correspondent in Baghdad, Yunus Sen, reported that the Iraqi authorities had confiscated the satellite telephones of some foreign journalists who were leaving Baghdad. Communication would get more difficult in the coming days, he said

18.03 - Bush tells journalists to leave Baghdad

In a televised address, President George W. Bush said journalists should leave Iraq immediately as the United States was issuing an ultimatum giving Saddam Hussein and his two sons 48 hours to step down. Some news media withdrew their reporters, who travelled to Jordan by road, while others planned to keep their correspondents in Iraq.

17.03 - ABC and NBC leave Baghdad

The US television networks ABC and NBC asked their journalists to leave Baghdad in view of the imminent US bombardment of the city. CNN and CBS kept their teams in place.

13.03 - Journalist expelled for using sat-phone

David Filipov of the Boston Globe was expelled from Iraq for using a satellite telephone to send a report to his newspaper from his hotel room. Journalists had been instructed to keep their satellite telephones at the Baghdad press centre and to send their reports from there.

12.03 - Spanish journalist expelled for "wrong" terminology

The visiting correspondent of the Spanish newspaper La Razón, Teresa Bó, was expelled from Iraq. Accusing her of "speaking inappropriately" about the Iraqi government, the authorities had given her 12 hours to leave the country.

9.03 - Canadian journalist expelled for "spying"

Canadian journalist Scott Taylor, a correspondent with the Sun chain of Canadian newspapers and editor of the military magazine Esprit de Corps, was accused of spying for Israel and was expelled from Iraq.