One week ago, we started work of the end year story that we share the work together. Sunni journalist took the Sunni neighborhoods and Shiite journalist took the Shiite neighborhoods. I was excite to do this story. I had to visit one family in each of mine neighborhood, I mean the Shiite majority neighborhood. But when I started my trip to do my job I faced so many difficulties not because the fears of the militias or terrorist.The difficulty was that most people feel afraid from the journalist and they deal with them as spies who work to serve the interest of their enemies. Some times, people refuse to cooperate and wonder about the benefit they will gain if they talk to a journalist.
“If we talk,will that change our miserable reality?” that what Iraqis always ask about.
New Baghdad one of the mixed neighborhoods so to get more benefit for our story I should talk to Christian person to ask him or her about the security in the neighborhood. As usual I couldn’t stop someone in the street to talk to because this thing can be done only in Democrat countrie not Iraq. So I phoned my Christian friend who guided me to her grandmother to interview her.
When I talked to the old lady, I felt that the woman was doubtful about my intention. I hardly convince her that my story talks about the changes that happened in Iraq through 2007. Then I talked to her about many stuff in her neighborhood. She was very kind and generous woman and she was very accurate in her describtion for her neighborhood, she showed me a perfect image about her neighborhood.
Next day my friend phoned me to ask about the kind of conversation that I took part with her grandmother.
“it was about the security situation in the neighborhood” I answered.
She said,” my grandmother doesn’t feel comfortable she is afraid that conversation will bring troubles for her”
“Why? she did not say anything may cause troubles” I replied.
“Please Jenan don’t use this conversation in your story ... That what my grandmother wants”
“Ok dear I will not, don’t worry”. Oh God why people are terrified from journalists. We try to help our country by showing the truth no more, no less.
At this moment I realized new difficulties that are facing the journalists in Iraq. Not only the terrorism but also people who dont no trust journalism as a fourth authority also they don’t believe that it has the ability to change because of what they have seen during the former regime and what they see with the current regime. On contrary they afraid may we hurt them if we publish their opinion about what is happening in Iraq.