'Fresno Bee' Reporter Heads to Iraq

By: E&P Staff Chris Collins, a reporter for The Fresno (Calif.) Bee, will be reporting for the Bee from the Baghdad bureau of the paper?s parent company, The McClatchy Co., the newspaper reported today.

Collins is leaving for the Middle East this week, and will spend six weeks in Baghdad before returning to The Bee. His stories will focus on the war in Iraq, and his experiences will also be chronicled in a blog that will be available to readers via the Bee?s Web site, www.fresnobee.com.

Collins, 23, underwent a weeklong training session in rural Virginia for war correspondents. Former United States Marines and British Royal Marines taught him first aid, and other skills such as how to react to bombs and riots.

The young reporter has been with the Bee since October 2006. Collins came to the Fresno paper from the Merced (Calif.) Sun-Star, a sister paper of the Bee. At the Sun-Star, Collins received multiple awards for stories on Merced County District Attorney Gordon Spencer, who committed several ethical lapses while a government employee.

Last year, Collins accepted a public service award from the Associated Press Managing Editors, and also placed third for investigative reporting in the Best of the West journalism competition.


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