Propaganda & Mass Persuasion: In the Line of Fire

Friday, April 27, 2007

In the Line of Fire

"There is a feeling in our newsroom that you need to be as realistic as possible and carry the images of war and the effect that war has on people," he says. "If you are in a war, your population shouldn't just eat their dinner and watch sanitized images on TV and video games produced by the technological whizzes in the Pentagon and say, 'This is war.' No. You really need to show every family what your men and women are going through...If you leave it to politicians, you won't see anything."
-Hafez Mirazi, Washington Bureau Chief of Al-Jazeera (as quoted in Peter Carlson, Washington Post, 4/3/03)

After the first few weeks of the (second) Gulf War, Mirazi is commenting on the different approach Al -Jazeera, the Arab TV news network, takes from the American news networks, including giants like CNN. Mirazi is referencing "sanitized images" of war as being unacceptable representations of the reality of war. Instead of just showing colorful graphics of missiles being fired, he argues, that the media must show the end result of the missiles' missions-- plainly speaking, dead and injured bodies along with its collateral damage.

The brutality of war, including gruesome closeup footage of the dead and injured, is being shown on Al-Jazeera , something which you won't see on CNN or any of the major broadcast channels. Though certainly not pleasant dinner-fare, more grimy images of war make sense, to a degree, in letting the public in to the dirty secrets of war. This is especially important in a war as unpopular as this one.

To think that four years have gone by since President Bush gave his marching orders in March 2003, and matters are getting
uglier everyday. One thing that is for sure is that more body bags are being filled on all sides of the conflict and are we any closer to a conflict resolution?


Blogger A. Mattson said...

A very good post.

Clearly coverage of the bloody carnage of war is shaped by the politics and nationality of the network involved. Too much or too little coverage opens the network to charges of bias. Striking the balance is difficult.

5/08/2007 11:49 AM  

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