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, December 02, 2004  
To Devil Dogs of the 3.1:

Blog editor's note: Kevin Sites was the NBC correspondent who filmed a U.S. Marine shooting an
unarmed Iraqi prisoner in the back. He has been disturbed by what he saw, and the reactions from the public. In an entry on his website addressed to the combat unit with which he was traveling, Sites explains what happened.

Since the shooting in the Mosque, I've been haunted that I have not been able to tell you directly what I saw or explain the process by which the world came to see it as well. As you know, I'm not some war zone tourist with a camera who doesn't understand that ugly things happen in combat. I've spent most of the last five years covering global conflict. But I have never in my career been a 'gotcha' reporter -- hoping for people to commit wrongdoings so I can catch them at it.

This week I've even been shocked to see myself painted as some kind of anti-war activist. Anyone who has seen my reporting on television or has read the dispatches on this website is fully aware of the lengths I've gone to play it straight down the middle -- not to become a tool of propaganda for the left or the right.

To read the rest of a fascinating look into what it's like to cover combat, see KEVIN SITES blog

4:54 PM

Too much front line for reporters?
Journalists are often on the front line of violence. But today some are insisting help is needed for those required to bear witness to the atrocities of war

By Randy Dotinga
The Christian Science Monitor
November 29, 2004

In an endless cycle of write-and-repeat, journalist Tom Lansner typed up stories about missing persons, shocking atrocities, and mass graves while serving as a war correspondent in Uganda in the early 1990s. After observing scenes of carnage, he feared - or perhaps hoped - that his eyes were failing him.

"Sometimes, I questioned myself," recalls Mr. Lansner, now a professor of international relations at Columbia University. "Did I really see these things? Could I really have seen something so terrible, so bad? Sometimes I would wonder, 'Wow, could this be real?' "

Lansner's experience is hardly unique among the generations of reporters who have offered firsthand accounts of armed conflict since at least the time of the Civil War. Many have questioned their grip on reality and struggled with despair. "I've been immersed in it too long. My spirit is wobbly and my mind is confused," wrote famed World War II correspondent Ernie Pyle. "The hurt has become too great."

To read the rest of this story, see Christian Science Monitor

10:59 AM

  A Deadly Year for Journalists: 101 Killed So Far

By Paul Ames
The Associated Press
15 November 2004

    Brussels, Belgium - More than 100 journalists have been killed since January, making 2004 the most deadly year for journalists in a decade, an international media rights group said.
    The slayings of three journalists in recent days in Ivory Coast, Nicaragua and the Philippines pushed this year's total to 101, the International Federation of Journalists said Friday.
    "2004 is turning out to be one of the most bloody years on record," said Aidan White, the federation's general secretary. "The crisis of news safety has reached an intolerable level and must be addressed urgently."

To read the rest of this article , see

8:28 AM

Blog Interruption Explained

Blog editor's note: Several people have e-mailed to inquire about why this blog has not been updated for about a month. I have been traveling, which explains the long "silence" between posts.

8:22 AM

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