Storytellers of War

by Mallary Tenore Tarpley

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We see glimpses of the war in Iraq on TV. We read about war stories in books. Maybe we even hear stories firsthand from loved ones fighting abroad. Martha Raddatz, chief White House correspondent and author of “The Long Road Home: A Story of War and Family,” and Rajiv Chandrasekaran, national editor of The Washington Post and author of uthor of “The Emperial Life in the Emerald City,” are great storytellers of the war.

While interviewing them for Poynter Online during Saturday’s “Community Conversation” event at the Poynter Institute, I was particularly curious about the way in which Chandrasekaran and Raddatz reported their stories. It became clear throughout the course of the interview, and through reading their books, that they carry what I like to call “journalistic shovels”.

They are the type of reporters who dig deep for the stories that are buried within the Iraqi soil. They listen for the voiceless and look for the people behind the Bush administration’s policies. The stories they relay are all the more powerful because of their in-depth reporting and their persistence in trying to get stories that went beyond the White House briefings. Raddatz noted that she often had to call back soldiers’ families on the phone multiple times after interviewing them to ask about tiny details. Though individually these details may have seemed insignificant, they ultimately added great depth to the overall story being told.

Anyhow, I’ve rambled enough. To read more about what Raddatz and Chandrasekaran had to say at Poynter, read my article at: You can also check out the related podcast interview with Raddatz, which is posted within the body of the article. It was my first time editing audio and creating a podcast, so don’t be too harsh of a critic! 🙂