Baghdad bureaux: An exploration of the interconnected world of fixers and correspondents at the BBC and CNN

Colleen Maria Murrell

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


Post-war Iraq is so dangerous that Western television correspondents have been forced to change their modus operandi and rely more heavily on locally-hired fixers. This article asks if the virtual absence of overseas reporters from Iraq's streets has led to a less authentic news gathering role. Conversely, it may have delivered a more nuanced form of editorial and logistical task-sharing.This research draws on interviews conducted in 2007 and 2008 with twenty foreign correspondents, two senior news managers and five fixers. It employs Bourdieu's analysis of cultural capital as a framework to examine the exchange of different forms of power and expertise between the players. Where trust is now at the forefront of this news gathering relationship, this research deconstructs the methods by which fixers are recruited and deployed. A comparison is made between the news production techniques of foreign correspondents who employ fixers for short-term purposes and correspondents from the Baghdad bureaux of the BBC and CNN.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)125-137
Number of pages13
JournalMedia, War & Conflict
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • BBC
  • CNN
  • fixers
  • foreign correspondents
  • international reporting
  • Iraq
  • transnational broadcasting

Cite this