Soenke Zehle on Sun, 16 Mar 2003 07:55:12 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime> Wartime Journalism (Final)

I know that nettime is not really a 'media' list in the traditional sense
but rather concerned with the materiality of media infrastructures, the
logic of networks etc. Anyway, war is upon us, and since at least some
nettimers are also journalists/radio hosts etc., I thougt that this debate
on 'journalism in times of war' (archived at OpenDemocracy
<>) might be of interest.

For background on these exchanges, see the set of guidelines on ethical
conflict reporting published by the 'journalism think-tank' Reporting the
World (Lynch, Jake. Reporting the World: The Findings. A practical checklist
for the ethical reporting of conflicts in the 21st Century, produced by
journalists, for journalists. <>), also
materials at

German papers have only occasionally referred to the cut-throat economic
competition  between CNN and Fox to account for the (to me, anyway)
stunningly patriotic emphasis in their coverage, rarely discussed the
influence of PNAC strategists (about ten of which are now members of the
Bush administration), or tried to shed some light on the creative
manoevering of Hill & Knowlton, once again in charge of media strategy.
Without these, though, the apparent bumpiness of pre-war diplomacy makes
even less sense, and neither does a controversy over the ethics of wartime
journalism and the charge of a 'peace bias' that distorts the good old rule
of impartiality.

BTW, on the US-Spies-On-UN-Security-Council-Memorandum: as y'all have
noticed, there has been virtually no debate whatsoever on what Dan Ellsberg
thought of as (suprise, surprise) yet another case of the 'Pentagon Papers.'
Alternative media coverage (US: Media Beat, Democracy Now, Mother Jones,
Counterpunch, Utne Reader did pick it up) doesn't really count, I guess, as
long as the gray lady doesn't pull her weight.

The memo version I had forwarded still had the anglicized spelling (modified
by the Observer) that caused the Washington Times to question its
authenticity, but its authenticity is no longer the issue. Both Norman
Solomon and Amy Goodman tried to slip in the issue when they were being
interviewed on CNN, to no avail. For a summary of what turned out to be yet
another media non-event, see Tomasky, Michael. "Spooky Story: Why the
American media shrugged off a story about spying at the United Nations ".
The American Prospect (March 12 2003).


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