Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Looting in Iraq

On July 1, The Art Newspaper published an article titled "Archaeological sites in south Iraq have not been looted, say experts". The full-text is freely available and the article received wide notice and comment. Larry Rothfield offered a rebuttal at SAFECorner. Now a follow-on editorial by Melik Kaylan has appeared in the Wall Street Journal. Mr. Kaylan directly and approvingly cites the Art Newspaper's reporting on the topic.

The Art Newspaper article seems obviously biased. For a far more judicious description of the assessment of damage in Southern Iraq see Andrew Lawler's July 4th article in Science titled "Preserving Iraq's Battered Heritage". If you click on that link, you'll eventually be asked for money in order to read the full-text. On July 15th, two weeks after publication of the Art Newspaper version, the text of this better reporting was posted to the Iraq Crisis e-mail list by its author. Perhaps the Science article would have had a greater impact if it had been freely available. Such are the intellectual consequences of fee-based journalism.

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