The US media's exclusion of graphic images fails to convey the reality of war and allows its glorification.
Christians in Mosul told they face death unless they convert or pay "jizya" tax, more victims in a wider sectarian war.
Some in Iraq have welcomed group's promise of a system of "swift justice" - but for others, it is cruel and unforgiving.
Militias patrol Iraqi capital's streets and army presence is heavier than normal. But how long can this situation last?
With political leaders deadlocked, political change in Baghdad doesn't seem likely to happen any time soon.
Staying in a Gaza hotel room without electricity brings back memories of another assignment - Baghdad in May 2003.
Semi-autonomous region has firmly put itself on path to independence. But the view from Baghdad is far from favourable.
Over the past three months, hundreds of thousands of people have been involved in the campaign to release our staff.
The declaration comes as no surprise as ISIL's ambition has always been bold, but its significance is yet to unfold.
How much influence does the House of Saud hold over its neighbour? And how can it be influenced?
Many in Baghdad feel opinion from across the political and sectarian spectrum is being ignored by the US, once again.