Neologisms R Us

Back to Iraq, the sequel!

You may have read the blog of my friend Chris Allbritton — the web’s first indie war correspondent, at Back To Iraq. Back in the spring, he raised $13,000 in donations from readers of his blog, to pay for a reporting trip to Iraq during the war. It was an incredibly cool experiment — since he had no editors calling the shots, he was able to write all manner of interesting essays and reports about life in Kurdistan and Baghdad during and just after the American attack. It was all posted on his blog, free, for anyone to read. The stories are still there if you ever want to read them again — as well as some remarkable photos.

Today, he got the following letter:

Mr. Allbritton:

As a contributor to your trip to Iraq earlier this year, I wish you would return to Iraq and provide an outlet for the collective voice of the Iraqi people.

I have always been against the invasion of Iraq. I continue to oppose our administration’s policies. I feel that we are imposing our will rather than respecting the wishes of our fellow human beings.

Would you consider returning to Iraq with the purpose of finding out just what the Iraqis want from us at this point?

So now Chris has announced he’s going Back to Iraq again. He got a letter today from a reader and a former donor, asking him to head back and provide some more stories from a fully independent point of view. Chris posted the letter, and already he’s received about $700 in new donations in the last couple of hours alone — including one from me.

If you want to see another dynamic example of public-minded journalism, drop by and join the “coalition of the willing,” as he calls it, heh.

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I'm Clive Thompson, the author of Smarter Than You Think: How Technology is Changing Our Minds for the Better (Penguin Press). You can order the book now at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Powells, Indiebound, or through your local bookstore! I'm also a contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine and a columnist for Wired magazine. Email is here or ping me via the antiquated form of AOL IM (pomeranian99).

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