Commentary and links relating to media coverage of war; both before, during, and after.

William A. Dorman is Professor of Government at California State University, Sacramento, and has taught a course in War, Peace and the Mass Media since 1970.

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War, Peace, and the Mass Media
Thursday, May 08, 2003  
The War, As Told To Us

By Diana Abu-Jaber
Thursday, May 8, 2003; Page A31

So now we are told by President Bush that the hostilities against Iraq have drawn to a close. Now, we're told, with an imperious wave of the arm, this chapter has ended. And Americans are meant to feel closure and satisfaction over an event that few of us have been given much insight into. From the buildup for the war to the bombing to the final days, Washington has constructed a simple, heroic narrative of freedom and asked us to ignore the much messier human devastation and tragedies of this war -- stories that, sadly, have little to do with the heroic legend. There are angry outbursts against America across the Middle East, and most Americans have almost no idea why.

Trying to get the story straight on any of these recent events has been incredibly difficult. This war supposedly came about because Iraq has been hiding weapons of mass destruction. And yet the war has come and gone, revealing no such threatening cache. Saddam Hussein, it seems, has eluded capture. And another narrative -- linking Hussein, on an almost subconscious level in the American psyche, with Osama bin Laden -- has been fostered in the media in a deliberate attempt to justify and bolster support for the war. One fighter pilot said in a TV interview that flying over New York City reminded him of why we were in this war. And yet this connection is an artificial creation, maintained by the media and supported through innuendo and rumor -- playing on Americans' fears and revenge fantasies. For the rest of this OpEd piece in the Washington Post, see Washington Post

8:41 AM

Wednesday, May 07, 2003  
Which war are you watching?

Tuesday, May 6, 2003

Are there two sides to a story? Are those two sides simply black or white? Is the media in the West and the Middle East guilty of slanting the news? Are people kept in the dark as to what really takes place? Is the media in the US a conservative monolith and is there a political dimension to reporting news in the Arab world? Do the Arab and Western media play a part in falsifying history, suppressing information, promoting empty concepts that prevent individuals from raising prickly questions about government policy? These are questions that have been raised by Arabs and Westerners alike in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks and, more pertinently since the outbreak of hostilities in Iraq. For the rest of an interesting overview of coverage of the Middle East from a perspective rarely heard in the U.S., see ITP.NET

8:39 AM

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