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Straight Reporting

Also in today's NYT:

AMMAN, Jordan, Jan. 30 - Sometime after the first insurgent attack in Iraq on Sunday morning, news directors at Arab satellite channels and newspaper editors found themselves facing an altogether new decision. Should they report on the violence, or continue to cover the elections themselves?

After nearly two years of providing up-to-the-minute images of explosions and mayhem, and despite months of predictions of a blood bath on election day, some news directors said they found the decision surprisingly easy to make. The violence simply was not the story on Sunday morning; the voting was.

Well, give the Arab press this much credit: They know the difference between a dog-bites-man and a man-bites-dog story.