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In Libya’s war, journalists themselves become part of the story

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Monitor reporter Dan Murphy described the change in mood after the murder of Al Jazeera cameraman Ali Hassan al Jaber.

Many foreign reporters in Benghazi are now preparing to move out of the city, frightened by Mr. Qaddafi’s advance, his repeated threats to treat journalists like “terrorists,” and the murder of Mr. Jaber.

... Foreign reporters at some of the city’s hotels have had their rooms searched and there’s a firm belief among Libyans here that the massive explosion at the city’s largest munitions dump last week was an act of sabotage.

Last night, even as thousands of citizens gathered outside the Benghazi courthouse to mourn and hail the murdered Jaber, waving both Qatari and "Free Libya" flags, one foreign reporter returning to his hotel was approached by two men riding on a motorbike. “Go home, go home,” they shouted at him.

It was a small incident, but something that would have been unthinkable even a week ago, when foreign reporters couldn’t even pay for their own cups of coffee or cellphone cards as Libyans here insisted foreign coverage of the uprising was crucial to their success.

Meanwhile, the Libyan government has allowed some journalists, including Monitor reporter Scott Peterson, into Tripoli under close surveillance. Those journalists are receiving tours of the destruction and fighting and attending press conferences under the heavy hand of government officials and loyalists.

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