Monday, May 21, 2007
on the streets, that's where we meet:
My piece from Baghdad for The Nation is out in the June 4 issue. Matt asks about the wisdom of divorcing the mechanics of training Iraqi security forces from the political development that training is supposed to support. Lo and behold, that's what the piece highlights.
--Spencer Ackerman
Spencer, I have a quick journalism question for you. In your reporting and in all nearly all other reporting I have seen, it is extremely difficult to determine the location that you are reporting about. In this article your first paragraph talks about Khadimiya in Baghdad, on the west bank of the river.
There does not exist online a great deal of detailed cartography of Baghdad. Perhaps the most useful map is the NIMA 2003 map, now available at Baghdad Map site. Apparently Khadimiya in your article is Al Kazimiya on the NIMA map. I understand that arabic to english transliterations are not exact, but why do journalists seemingly never use the spellings from the NIMA map which is the best available for the majority of the readers?
Blogger JC | 9:01 AM


Sorry for the confusion. I used "Khadimiya" because that's what the unit I was embedded with used, according to a map they had issued. Transliteration is vexing: in practice, lots of publications use either the AP style guide or whatever the NYT does. (I'm not sure what the Nation uses.) Standardization would be great, and NIMA's map seems as good to me as anything.
Blogger spencerackerman | 9:40 AM