The Press & The Myths of War

Veteran military correspondent Chris Hedges writes that "when the nation goes to war, the press goes to
war with it. The blather on CNN or Fox or MSNBC is part of a long and
sad tradition. The narrative we are fed about war by the state, the entertainment
industry and the press is a myth. ... The coverage of war by the press has one consistent and pernicious
theme--the worship of our weapons and our military might. Retired
officers, breathless reporters, somber news anchors, can barely hold


Al-Jazeera Gets the Boot

Al-Jazeera reporter Tayseer Allouni has been ordered out of Baghdad by the Iraqi government, which is unhappy with his reporting. In response, the Arabic satellite network has suspended reporting from the country until it gets an explanation. The action comes at a time when, according to Howard Kurtz of the Washington Post, U.S. journalists are "pumped" by reports of a POW rescue and news of fresh U.S. military advances.


Germans And French See Different War

"Germans appear to be viewing the war through a prism that highlights the human costs, difficulties and risks. Media and political analysts say that perspective springs from three interconnected sources: public attitudes against the war, the German government's opposition to it and the occasionally antiwar tone of German media coverage," the Washington Post's Robert J. McCartney writes. commentator Nina Burleigh writes


Re-thinking Objectivity

There is no single explanation for the holes in U.S. news coverage of the Bush Administration, but Brent Cunningham argues that journalists' devotion to what they call "objectivity" played a role by making them "passive recipients of news, rather than aggressive analyzers and explainers of it." Moreover, he notes, the concept itself is unclear: "Ask ten journalists what objectivity means and you'll get ten different answers."


The Spectre of Al-Jazeera

Throughout the world, people are witnessing scenes of horror from Iraq on Al-Jazeera, the Arab cable news station. However, Al-Jazeera barely penetrates the United States. The network's newly-launched English-language web site remains down and may not be available for several weeks due to hacker attacks.


Embedded Reporter Tactic "Sheer Genius"

"The current war has been called the best-covered war in history, and certainly the visuals and reports from 'embedded' reporters have been spectacular, bringing war into our living rooms like never before," Katie Delahaye Paine writes in her PR firm's publication The Measurement Standard. "[T]he embedded reporter tactic is sheer genius. ... The sagacity of the tactic is that it is based on the basic tenet of public relations: It's all about relationships.


'Embedded' Reporters Key To White House PR Plan

"The eruption of war in Iraq last week set in motion a massive global PR network, cultivated by the Bush administration during the months-long buildup of forces. The network is intended not only to disseminate, but also to dominate news of the conflict around the world," PR Week writes.


Anti-War Reporting Banned in UK Papers

"Sir Ray Tindle, the editor in chief of over 100 weekly newspapers across
Britain has informed all his editors that they can no longer report any
anti-war stories in their newspapers," reports Andy Rowell. Jeremy Dear of the UK's National Union of Journalists, condemned the move: " So much for the right to know, free speech and all those other rights which our forefathers fought to establish and which Sir Ray Tindle seeks to demolish at the stroke of a pen," Dear stated.


Media Banned from Free Speech Award

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia banned broadcast media from his speech on March 19 at an appearance where he received an award for supporting free speech. "That was one of the criteria that he had for acceptance," said James Foster, executive director of Cleveland's City Club, which gave Scalia its "Citadel of Free Speech Award."


Head Games with Media's Help

So confident is the U.S. military about a swift victory in Iraq that plans are already afoot to fly a CNN correspondent and a BBC reporter to the southern Iraqi city of Basra the moment it falls. "I'm not doing this so that the CNN correspondent gets another $100,000 in their salary," he said. "I'm doing it because the regime watches CNN. I want them to see what is happening." The plan is part of a psychological warfare campaign that the British officer called "white pys-ops." "Yes, we are using them," he said.



Subscribe to Journalism