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
Wednesday, September 24, 2003  
British Editors give go-ahead for f-word

John Plunkett
Tuesday September 23, 2003
The Guardian

Anyone following the investigation in England into the now infamous claim by the British government that Iraq could deploy weapons of mass destruction in 45 minutes will be interested to learn that in an unprecedented move, three national newspapers used the f-word in its unexpurgated form today in their reporting of Alastair Campbell's now infamous diary entry of July 4.

In a key piece of evidence to the Hutton inquiry yesterday, it was revealed that the outgoing Downing Street director of communications had written in his diary that he wanted to expose David Kelly in order to "fuck Andrew Gilligan", the BBC reporter.

In a judgment call between open and accurate reporting and running the risk of offending their readers' sensitivities, the Guardian, Independent and Financial Times printed the expletive in full. For the rest of the story about this daring turn in British journalism, see The Guardian

12:09 PM

U.S. Army Used Media Coverage in Iraq for Own Ends

September 05, 2003
By David Morgan

CARLISLE, Pa. (Reuters) - As U.S. troops approached Baghdad last spring, senior Army officers sought to win the surrender of enemy forces by orchestrating news coverage by journalists traveling with front-line fighting units, military officers said this week.

At a three-day military-hosted conference on the media's role in Operation Iraqi Freedom, officers said the Army arranged for an embedded U.S. television crew to film airborne troops embarking in the desert in hopes that Iraqi commanders would realize how far north U.S. forces had advanced. For the rest of the story on the Army conference, see Reuters News

11:58 AM

Top British TV Anchor Refused to Report 45-min claim

Rob Harris
September 9, 2003
The Guardian

News at Ten anchorman Sir Trevor McDonald has revealed he defied his editors by refusing to report the government's key defence of war in Iraq - the infamous 45-minute claim.

Before the outbreak of the war earlier this year, Sir Trevor stood his ground against ITV news chiefs who wanted him to focus on the perceived threat from the Iraqi regime's weapons of mass destruction.

But Sir Trevor insisted he would prefer to be sacked rather than sacrifice his principles of fair and honest coverage.

The claim that Saddam could attack British interests within 45 minutes has since been largely undermined by a senior intelligence official at the Hutton inquiry, who felt the language describing the threat was "too strong". For the rest of this piece about how a eminent British TV news anchor refused to go along with the Blair goverment's propaganda, see The Guardian

11:51 AM

Fox News (Predictably?) Has Different View of Amanpour's Criticism of Media War Coverage

September 20. 2003

For a transcript of Fox News Watch and its panelists' views on Amanpour's assertions discussed in the previous post, see Fox News Watch. [For the record, based on having studied, written and taught about the subject for more than 30 years, it's my considered judgment that Amanpour was completely on target.]

11:38 AM

Bush's tame U.S. media may yet have teeth

By ERIC MARGOLIS -- Contributing Foreign Editor, The Toronto Sun
September 21, 2003

MIAMI -- I've long considered CNN's Christiane Amanpour an outstanding journalist. Last week, my opinion of her rose further when she ignited a storm of controversy when asked by a TV interviewer about the U.S. media's coverage of the Iraq war.
Breaking a taboo of silence in the mainstream media, Amanpour courageously replied, "I think the press was muzzled and I think the press self-muzzled. Television ... was intimidated by the (Bush) administration and its foot soldiers at Fox News." For the rest of Margolis' commentary on how Amanpour views coverage of the Iraq war, see Toronto Sun

11:28 AM

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