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Does the Times Have the Best Iraq Coverage?

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Lately it seems that the LA Times' A Section has at least one Iraq-related article on nearly every page. While the rest of the media world speculates on the fate of the TribCo and the designs the Times' potential suitors may have in mind, is the paper covering Iraq better than anyone else?

The general trend of newspapers focused on cost-cutting and boosting readership is to expand local coverage. But as recently as last month, the Times foreign desk has been looking to add more reporters to its Baghdad Bureau (LAO).

One definite advantage is printing in the Pacific Time Zone. When it's midnight in LA, it's 11am in Baghdad, so while East Coast papers have already hit the streets, the Times has the opportunity to print Monday's early morning news from Iraq in the Monday paper. Case in point: The Times seemed to be the only major paper to sneak a report of last week's early-morning execution of two Hussein aides into its morning edition.

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The global press appears to be infatuated with the wordy and fairly balanced analyses of The New York Times' man in Baghdad, John F. Burns. But one man can't possibly provide for a broad understanding of how the situation on the ground relates to the disingenuous and spin-wrought policy statements out of D.C. and Baghdad. Hence, this shout-out to Baghdad Bureau Chief Borzou Daragahi, Louise Roug, Julian E. Barnes, Peter Spiegel, Megan K. Stack, Solomon Moore, and Molly Hennessy-Fiske for bringing the truth to our doorsteps.

Ex-CNN News chief Eason Jordan lays out a typical day of LAT Iraq coveragehere. Check for yourself online at http://latimes.com/iraq.

photo by debaird via flickr.