Archive for March, 2011

Iraq military lacks resources for Iran frontier

Iraq military lacks resources for Iran frontier

by Prashant Rao This article was originally published by AFP on December 23, 2009. It can be found here. AL SHIB PORT, Iraq (AFP) — Iraq’s border forces lack the resources to properly police the country’s long frontier with Iran and keep out insurgents and smugglers, US soldiers engaged in training them say. The soldiers [...]


Baghdad Diary: Dealing with the damage of Abu Ghraib

by Prashant Rao Note: This blog post was originally published by AFP on June 27, 2009. It can be found here. Perhaps no single revelation in the aftermath of the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq was more notorious than that of prisoner abuse at the Abu Ghraib prison west of Baghdad. It led to courts martial for [...]


Baghdad Diary: New Beginnings

by Prashant Rao Note: This blog post was published by AFP on June 12, 2009. It can be found here. In the past couple weeks here in Baghdad, I’ve met several journalists from rival foreign news organisations, be it at press or social events, and one of the first questions asked is how long, respectively,  [...]


Australian film-extra-turned-novelist eyes Booker glory

by Prashant Rao Note: This article was originally published by AFP on October 13, 2008. It can be found here. LONDON (AFP) — Which is more impressive? Turning a 500-word short story into a nearly 700-page novel short-listed for the Booker Prize, or transforming yourself from a television extra into an acclaimed author? For Australian [...]


Baghdad Diary: “Get used to it – This Is Iraq”

by Prashant Rao Note: This blog post was originally published by AFP on June 3, 2009. It can be found here. Most people, everywhere, tend to think their country is exceptional, in one way or another. Iraq, my new home for a year, is probably one where they are right more often than not. I’ve [...]


Life on the margin: Iraqis grapple with poverty

Life on the margin: Iraqis grapple with poverty

by Prashant Rao Note: This article was originally published by AFP on February 22, 2011. It can be found here. BAGHDAD (AFP) – Faleha Hassan lives in a tiny house in central Baghdad with 11 other family members and, like thousands of protesters across Iraq, does not believe her leaders have done anything to make her [...]


Internet collaboration still in infancy: Wikipedia founder

by Prashant Rao Note: This article was originally published by AFP on November 2, 2008. It can be found here. LONDON (AFP) – The age of public collaboration over the Internet is still only in its infancy, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales told AFP in an interview. The 42-year-old web guru, in an effort to show Wikipedia’s [...]


News you might have missed

by Prashant Rao Note: This blog post was originally published by AFP on April 1, 2009. It can be found here. A good portion of the news that we, and other news organisations, cover are events that, to some degree, can be planned for — press conferences, briefings, speeches, and the like. The G20 summit here [...]


Najaf rushes to get ready as Islamic culture capital

Najaf rushes to get ready as Islamic culture capital

by Prashant Rao Note: This article was originally published by AFP on March 15, 2011. It can be found here. NAJAF, Iraq (AFP) – A half-billion-dollar effort to showcase Iraq’s holiest Shiite city to the world is coming down to the wire as many contracts remain unsigned and funds are being hastily re-allocated. Preparations for [...]


Baghdad Diary: The Weekly Shop

by Prashant Rao Note: This blog post was originally published by AFP on March 9, 2011. It can be found here. There are many ways to measure progress, from rapid GDP growth to declining poverty rates. One of the ways I’ve begun to view progress, though, is through the prism of our local supermarket. When [...]


Iraqi city sees hotel boom as pilgrims proliferate

Iraqi city sees hotel boom as pilgrims proliferate

by Prashant Rao Note: This article was originally published by AFP on March 13, 2011. It can be found here. NAJAF, Iraq (AFP) – The holy Shiite city of Najaf in central Iraq, home to the shrine of a revered cleric, is in the midst of a hotel building boom in a bid to dramatically [...]


Why?

Why?

As a first post, I thought I would quickly summarise why I’m doing this. I’m a (relatively) young journalist working for “old media” — the organisation I work for is trying to adapt to the changing media landscape, and I’m attempting to do the same by learning how to take half-decent photographs, perhaps some video, [...]