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Should I stay or should I go?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by JayFarrar, Oct 31, 2006.


Should I accept an overseas assignment to Iraq?

  1. Yes

    22 vote(s)
  2. No

    9 vote(s)
  3. Maybe

    5 vote(s)
  4. Are you insane

    18 vote(s)
  1. JayFarrar

    JayFarrar Well-Known Member

    Details are still sketchy at this point, but I have been offered the possibility of going to Iraq and covering the war.
    I wish I knew more, but at this point it is all very preliminary. I was just approached to see if I would be interested.
    I said that I would need to think about it. So I'm thinking, but since I live in a cave, I thought I would get advice from strangers on the interwebs.
    On a side note: my family says maybe. It is so sketchy at this point, that it is really hard to say. I was just wondering if anyone out there, knew someone or had actually been Over There.
    EDIT: No kids, kinda dating, but not a live-in, or close to that point.
  2. OTD

    OTD Active Member

    I know several who've been over there, including one who was pretty seriously wounded. I gotta know before I vote . . . do you have kids?
  3. PeteyPirate

    PeteyPirate Guest

    I have a friend who has been in Iraq/Afghanistan five times with no incident, luckily.
  4. Bubba Fett

    Bubba Fett Active Member

    I would jump at the chance to go. But I'm single with very little social life at the moment.
  5. Football_Bat

    Football_Bat Well-Known Member

    If you stay, there will be trouble.

    If you go, it will be double.
  6. joe

    joe Active Member

    Or, the other way around.
  7. enigami

    enigami Member

    You could die, but it's your career. Is it worth it?
    (that translates to a vote of "maybe")
  8. Frank_Ridgeway

    Frank_Ridgeway Well-Known Member

    Aside from the obvious danger factor, you have to ask yourself if you can emotionally handle what you're going to see over there. You could escape physical injury but wind up screwed up for life if you're the type of person who is really bothered by death and inhumanity. I can't really handle the sight of even a little blood. I'd probably take the job, but I'd think I'd return really screwed up. Years ago, I worked on a mid-major paper that had a former big-time Vietnam correspondent on staff, working in a rural bureau. The guy apparently had seen enough and just wanted a quiet job for a while.
  9. thegrifter

    thegrifter Member

    When I was unemployed for a while, I thought about joining the Army. But there was the whole, "you could die."
    I guess you could call me a coward, but that part really freaks me out.
  10. Double Down

    Double Down Well-Known Member


    I've mulled this question over a few times myself, even though I've never really been in a position to go, and I think it's one of the toughest. During Vietnam, reporters like David Halberstam considered it their duty to go, because it was sort of like that generation's most difficult question: What the hell are we doing here? In some ways, Iraq is the same way. If you go, I will have an enormous amount of respect for you, because I think there are a lot of stories there that need to be told. Regardless of whether anyone thinks the US being in Iraq was the right or the worng decision, we're not getting enough information about what's going on there. We need more. We need people to tell the stories of the soldiers and the Iraqis. Even if not everyone is interested in listening.

    I don't think I could go, even if asked, because I couldn't do that to my wife. She would be wreck, and it wouldn't be fair. But there is a small part of me that wishes I could, just because it's important, you know?

    If you really are interested in someone's opinion who has done it, email Juliet Macur at the New York Times. She did it, wrote about 10 stories and blogged every day, and was there for three weeks, I think. She's be able to give you a real perspective on how safe it is, whether you have access to any real stories, or whether you'll be stuck in the Green Zone, watching TV with soliders while you listen to things explode in the not-so-distant "distance."
  11. PeteyPirate

    PeteyPirate Guest

    You should just watch it from the press box.
  12. RedSmithClone

    RedSmithClone Active Member

    I voted yes.

    As soon as the War started I went in and told my editor that if they ever decided to send someone over there I am game. I am single, no kids and will turn 30 on Sunday. I believe there are stories out there, both positive and negative that haven't been touched and I would give anything to uncover them.

    If you do go, make sure you do an SportsJournalists.com board to keep in touch and let us all know what's going on!
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