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Allawi group slips cash to reporters

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MSgt213 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 07:55 PM
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Allawi group slips cash to reporters
Wonder were they learned that?

The electoral group headed by Iyad Allawi, the interim Iraqi prime minister, on Monday handed out cash to journalists to ensure coverage of its press conferences in a throwback to Ba'athist-era patronage ahead of parliamentary elections on January 30.

After a meeting held by Mr Allawi's campaign alliance in west Baghdad, reporters, most of whom were from the Arabic-language press, were invited upstairs where each was offered a "gift" of a $100 bill contained in an envelope.

Many of the journalists accepted the cash - about equivalent to half the starting monthly salary for a reporter at an Iraqi newspaper - and one jokingly recalled how Saddam Hussein's regime had also lavished perks on favoured reporters.

Giving gifts to journalists is common in many of the Middle East's authoritarian regimes, although reporters at the conference said the practice was not yet widespread in postwar Iraq.

The press conference came as Mr Allawi and his allies kicked the electoral campaign of their Iraqi List into high gear.

http://news.ft.com/cms/s/a3828a0c-6346-11d9-bec2-00000e...
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