How Was It?
May 2003

by Amy Bowers

How do you usually prep for your assignments? Some of us can pack in 10 minutes, even for overseas assignments. Others take considerable time packing gear, but waste little energy studying the region or story before they depart. More than a few newspukes engage in superstitions and rituals or make deals with a guardian angel, deity, or insurance underwriter.

In the run-up to the war in Iraq, scores of reporters, photographers and producers prepared for combat assignments. Some trained at boot camps run by the Department of Defense. Others took their short course in country. We can only guess the cadences and mantras they internalized on the way to war, or imagine the voices that asked:

How will I behave in combat? Am I tough enough? How many risks will I take? What's the chance I'll die, or be taken prisoner, or get injured, or just plain miss the story?

Our generous contributors to the Dispatch section of the Digital Journalist describe their responses to the reality of war, from the mundane to the profound. It's quite a collection of journeys.

for the Digital Journalist


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