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, November 13, 2003  
Media protest treatment in Iraq
Letter to Pentagon accuses US troops of intimidation

By Mark Jurkowitz, Globe Staff, 11/13/2003

The Associated Press says soldiers in Iraq detained one of its photographers and a driver in late September near the site of the Abu Ghraib prison. Knight Ridder says its photographer at the scene of the Nov. 2 downing of a Chinook helicopter had photographs destroyed by the US military. Reuters, which had a cameraman killed in August in what the US military called an accident, says another photographer was detained last month by Iraqi police alleging to be acting on orders from US forces.

Amid growing reports of journalists being harassed and intimidated by troops policing postwar Iraq, representatives of 30 media organizations, ranging from CNN and ABC to the Newhouse News Service and The Boston Globe, have signed a letter to the Pentagon raising concerns about what they view as an increasingly hostile reporting environment. For the rest of this story, see Boston Globe

9:36 AM

Tuesday, November 11, 2003  
Jessica Lynch: An American tale
How the media made her a star

By Gary Dorsey
Baltimore Sun Staff
November 11, 2003

After the fog of war came the fog of media, followed by the fog of war and media, then clarifications and alternative views, then the fog of publicity and the war of competing media.

Then Sunday night brought the start of sweeps week and a TV docudrama. Today, Veterans Day, brings the launch date for writer Rick Bragg's biography of former Iraqi POW Jessica Lynch, the West Virginia "get" girl being interviewed by Diane Sawyer on ABC tonight and appearing on the Today Show tomorrow, David Letterman on Friday, Larry King on Monday night and live at the Barnes & Noble store in Annapolis Monday afternoon.

Did someone say today is Veterans Day?

How in the world did this happen?

For the rest of this detailed timeline on how the Lynch story/tale developed, see Baltimore Sun

10:06 AM

Two POWs, one an American icon, the other ignored
Jessica Lynch's story, some of it hyped, made her a star. Shoshana Johnson faded away

By William Douglas
Philadelphia Inquirer Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON - Tomorrow [Sunday, Nov.9] , NBC will air its made-for-TV movie celebrating Army Pfc. Jessica Lynch, whose capture and dramatic rescue is the feel-good story of America's war in Iraq.

But some African Americans don't feel so good about Lynch's story. Instead, they ask: What about Shoshana Johnson?

For the rest of this piece which looks at how two young women who shared the same experience but received decidedly different treatment from the mass media, see Philadelphia Inquirer

9:32 AM

Did He Or Didn't He?
Rumsfeld denies he ever made several pre-war statements

Published Nov 9, 2003

(Blog editor's note: One of the ways in which official Washington manipulates journalism is to simply deny something. The only defense against such a practice is to carefully investigate such denials and see whether they are factually accurate. Here is an example of a journalist who went back and looked at the record, which clearly shows such a denial to be false.)

WASHINGTON - In the lead-up to the U.S. invasion of Iraq, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said U.S. forces would be welcomed by the Iraqi citizenry and that Saddam Hussein had large stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons. Now, after both statements have been shown to be either incorrect or vastly exaggerated, Rumsfeld - with the same trademark confidence that he exuded before the war - is denying that he ever made such assertions.
In recent testy exchanges with reporters, Rumsfeld interrupted the questioners and attacked the premise of the questions if they dealt with his pre-war comments about weapons of mass destruction and Americans-as-liberators. For the rest of this analysis, see News-Star Banner

9:24 AM

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