"There was an attitude among editors: Look, we're going to war, why do we even worry about all this contrary stuff?''
"Editors at The Washington Post acknowledge
they underplayed stories questioning President Bush's claims of the threat posed by Saddam Hussein in the months leading up to the U.S. invasion of Iraq." The weblog Lunaville notes
that The Center for International and Security Studies at the University of Maryland found
that "since September 11, 2001, the Bush administration has been especially successful at getting the American media to confirm its political and diplomatic agenda. Media reporting on the President amplified the administration s voice: when Bush said to the country that Americans are vulnerable to WMD in the hands of terrorists, the media effectively magnified those fears." Lawrence Lessig says:
"As media becomes more concentrated, competition to curry favor with politicians only increases... Concentrated media and expansive copyright are the perfect storm not just for stifling debate but, increasingly, for weakening democracy as well." Can we make the media democratic?
the NYT offers up an analysis of its pre-war coverage. "But we have found a number of instances of coverage that was not as rigorous as it should have been. In some cases, information that was controversial then, and seems questionable now, was insufficiently qualified or allowed to stand unchallenged. Looking back, we wish we had been more aggressive in re-examining the claims as new evidence emerged — or failed to emerge."
U.S. Army Used Media Cover in Iraq for Own Ends
which sounds like a big old bowl of yellow journalism but isn't really, at least I don't think so. It was more to refute the Iraqi Minister of Lies talking about the whooping the Iraqi war machine was delivering to the coalition forces.
The main issue that the reporters had was that they were only getting the one side of the story and not the Iraqi perspective.
But it raises some questions about the supposed objectivity of the media. Is this a proper use of them? To help achieve military goals? Or to try to avoid more unnecessary deaths?
GOP Warns TV Stations Not to Air Ad Alleging Bush Mislead the Nation Over Iraq
They claim that the ad itself
is dishonest, and cite the obligation of broadcast outlets to be free of misleading information. “Such obligations must be taken seriously. This letter puts you on notice that the information contained in the above-cited advertisement is false and misleading; therefore, you are obligated to refrain from airing this advertisement.”
Despite the implicit threats, only one station has refused to run the ad, a Fox station.
Salam Pax, the Baghdad Blogger
is finally tracked down
was recently "demoted
," this came after her public comments
about coverage of the war in Iraq. I have thought about her in the past, but never as an ideologue
, and certainly not as a journalist on the level of Maria Bartiromo
. It is shocking that her career might be a casualty
. Thoughts about this fallen soldier
, as a journalist
, or as a hot
We all know that a number of journalists have quit the embedded roles
they were playing. And while Saddam's regime may have been quite brutal
to the press and others, some claim the recent loss
of a few journalists was no accident.
Media Map of Iraq
(Requires Flash 6.) Click on a location or unit to see a list of embedded reporters. Then each reporter's name is a link to a list of their war reporting either at their website or via a Google News search. Also, Poynter.org is constantly looking to improve this map
via reader input, as the Pentagon is not giving up much information on the embedment program. Also, The Atlantic Monthly/Washington Post's Michael Kelly is the first embedded reporter to be killed
in this war.
"Journalists" vs. The White House
- MSNBC's Tom Curry reports on the Bush administration's frustration with the war coverage. Rumsfeld: “Fortunately... the American people have a very good center of gravity and can absorb and balance what they see and hear.”
and Nick Denton
have some amateur infographics of the Iraq conflict online. [more inside]
Embedded? Or In Bed With The Military Spin Doctors?
Quite apart from the significant sexual and conspiratorial overtones of the word and concept themselves (when applied to people), there's something more than a little disquieting about the participant observation
aspect of the large-scale practice of embedded reporting
in the current invasion of Iraq - as opposed to the journalistic tradition of direct observation. Altogether too gung-ho - and inevitably so - I'd say. Me no like. And don't really trust myself to be able to epistemologically introduce, in my understanding of what I see, the (already minimal) distance that I'd previously taken for granted in standard reportage. What can be done to offset this bias? [Here is a very recent, detailed Department of Defense guide to what a media embed consists of [pdf format] and the release journalists must sign in order to be embedded
The War is about to Start and for those of us without a TV we are part of a grand experiment to see if we can be as well informed. According to this Reuters article
, Radio had World War II, Television had Vietnam, Cable TV had the Gulf War and now, the Internet may have the U.S. war with Iraq...reporters and producers with wireless laptops and handheld digital cameras will file reports from battlefields
and military installations. Cameras are at key locations for live feeds 24 hours a day. Interactive, 3-D maps will update troop movements, casualties and weapons used. ''You're combining the speed of television with the depth of print,'' says Mitch Gelman, executive producer of CNN.com. ''This could define how future wars are covered.'' (more inside)
Pentagon threatens to target journalists in Iraq.
(RealAudio, 49 minutes into the broadcast.)
In an interview with Radio One Ireland, Kate Adie
, former chief news correspondent for the BBC, drops a bombshell.
If satellite uplinks from the press are detected in Baghdad, they would be "targeted down", said a senior US military official. "They know this. They've been warned."
Ms. Adie also revealed that the US military are openly asking journalists what their feelings are on the war, and are using this information to block reporters from access to reporting on the conflict.
These actions are "shameless" and "entirely hostile to the free spread of information," says Ms. Adie. "What actually appalls me is the difference between twelve years ago and now. I've seen a complete erosion of any kind of acknowledgment that reporters should be able to report as they witness."