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Reporters on the Job

On Patrol in Iraq: Staff writer Dan Murphy spent voting day in Baquba, Iraq, embedded with US soldiers on patrol in a Humvee. To prevent attacks, there was a nationwide ban on civilians using their cars.

"We stopped five cars during the morning patrol. In one car was a Shiite couple. The man had trouble moving his leg, and his 300-lb. wife had trouble moving, too. They explained that they needed the car to get to the polling station. The fact that they would violate the ban, knowing that they might be shot by a nervous Iraqi policeman or US soldier suspecting a suicide bomb attack, is an indication of the eagerness and seriousness that they took their duty to vote," says Dan.

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In Baghdad, correspondent Jill Carroll hiked with her interpreter and driver 10 miles (five miles each way) to get to a predominantly Sunni neighborhood. She enjoyed the freedom of being out on the streets walking, but it was hot wearing an abaya, a head-to-toe black robe.

"We had been warned it was risky to go to Sadiyah, an area wracked by sectarian violence. But at the polling stations, the Iraqis seemed afraid of us. We'd flash our journalist badges and assure them we weren't going to report them to the police because they criticized the constitution, but many didn't seem to believe us," she says.

David Clark Scott
World editor