War Arena No Place for Anchormen

ABC News’ Bob Woodruff and his cameraman remain in serious condition with head and upper torso injuries after the convoy they were traveling in was hit by a bomb.

Both Woodruff and Vogt suffered head injuries. Woodruff also suffered wounds to his upper body. Their four-man team was traveling in a convoy with Iraqi security forces in Taji, Iraq. They had been embedded with the 4th Infantry Division and were in a mechanized vehicle on a combined operation with Iraqi Army and Coalition forces when the explosive went off. The explosion was followed by small arms fire.

Woodruff and his crew had been traveling in a U.S. armored humvee, but then transferred into an Iraqi vehicle — which was believed to be a much softer target for attacks.

“If you’re going to cover the Iraqi military forces, you have to be with them,” White House correspondent Martha Raddatz said. “You have to see how they live. I will tell you one thing, a few months ago when I was there and we wanted to get into an Iraqi pickup truck, one of the American soldiers said, you can’t do that. It’s way too dangerous.”

That last remark is important, because it reveals the possibility that Woodruff and his cameraman had either received permission to ride in a vehicle that exposed them to greater danger, or worse, that as reporters, the story got in the way of safety, and the two somehow pressured their soldier escorts into letting them tag along.

The fact remains that the war arena is a dangerous place for trained soldiers, and no place for untrained reporters who, in the race to get ratings, put themselves and the troops they cover at risk of serious injury, or worse, death. The ‘story’ must be captured, yes. But not at the risk of one’s life.


  1. The Moderate Voice says:

    Woodruff Injury Shows Journalism Is Dangerous Business

    The news that ABC World News Tonight anchor Bob Woodruff and a cameraman were badly injured in Iraq underscores a fact often forgotten in these days when the news media is under fire in many quarters: journalism can be a dangerous business.

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