"Insurgents want their stories told" -- Associated Press
From JACK STOKES, director of media relations, Associated Press: [This is a solicited letter regarding Salon's "The Associated Press 'insurgency.'"] Several brave Iraqi photographers work for The Associated Press in places that only Iraqis can cover. Many are covering the communities they live in where family and tribal relations give them access that would not be available to Western photographers, or even Iraqi photographers who are not from the area.
Insurgents want their stories told as much as other people and some are willing to let Iraqi photographers take their pictures. It's important to note, though, that the photographers are not "embedded" with the insurgents. They do not have to swear allegiance or otherwise join up philosophically with them just to take their pictures.
These comments bear on some of the questions raised in the post and commentary at Haifa Street. In this regard, one hopes it is not impertinent to ask whether a photographer who does not "swear allegiance or otherwise join up philosophically with them (insurgents)" can take their pictures. Mr. Stokes might like to state whether the Associated Press photographer who took a sequence of pictures of an execution on Haifa Street, Baghdad is one of these "brave Iraqi photographers" to whom the insurgents are willing to entrust their stories. If so, at what point did the "brave Iraqi" photographer become aware that the story of the day was going to be the live execution of two Iraqi election workers?