Official Sources, Western Diplomats and Other Voices from the Mission
By Frank Smyth, January 3, 1993, Columbia Journalism Review

On the post-cold war era, ethnic rivalry may have replaced ideology as the most likely cause of conflict, but while all else changes one journalistic habit picked up during the past four decades will, in all likelihood, persist — the habit of relying heavily on the mission, as the U.S. embassy is known, for assessments and information. In an increasingly unfamiliar world, in fact, the temptation to do so will be even stronger…

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Out on a Limb: The Use and Abuse of Stringers in the Combat Zone
By Frank Smyth, January 3, 1992, Columbia Journalism Review

Somewhere just outside of Baghdad, I was blindfolded and led down a corridor into a room where, to judge by the sound of the voices, there were at least half a dozen men. The possibility of being beaten or tortured was on my mind. I was ordered to sit, and waited in the darkness. The interrogator asked me what was my “real job.”

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