Sunday, 4 January 2009

Disrespecting Dead Journalists.

Since 2003 200+ journos have been killed in Iraq alone. Quite striking is the amount of persons of ME origin or decent amongst the dead. But that list doesn't include the other wars around the region - and planet - that have and have had embedded journos filming and reporting.

If you go to places like Youtube or Livevideo the footage is ashamedly tame for the realities of combat and personally I think it disrespects the lives risked and lost for that footage to be lost on the cutting room floor.

SURELY it's out there somewhere...but where?. Al Jazeera put some up occasionally that reflects on war's truth. Especially in their Shooting The Messenger Series, but even so, it's just a glimpse of what is....or should be...out there.

Should the supporters of our military actions be made to SEE and HEAR what becomes of our intolerance when it lands in the laps of our 'enemies'?. We are ALL responsible for the dead and dying through our support of our governments decision to make war. Remember voting in Howard in 2004?. Most of us did.

Our kids at school should see what we support, and so should we. Now, if only we could find it.


  1. When the public sees people dying away from their shores, they soon decide they don't want to support the war anymore.
    AND most people would prefer not to see the bloody side of war, beyond a 10 second sound bite, so advertisers get scared, so there is no commercial benefit for a news services to show these things.
    thats my 10 cents anyway

  2. I hear ya, Moko. The censorship and patriotic bunkum surrounding these "wars" is astounding. There's only one reason a journo should ever want to sell their objectivity - and that's to get the absolute inside scoop. To show what it's really like in the maelstrom, where their audience can never be.

    But we're seeing none of it. Just network after network selling their journo's souls for the sake of some tear-jerker "messages home" bull-twang. Hell... even the US gov won't allow footage of stars and stripes-clad coffins being unloaded back home.

    For such a "televised" conflict, we've never seen so little.

  3. This is also not a new phenomenon. Journalists and correspondents have been killed since the concept of covering wars right from the frontline started up.

    And where does 'digging for the truth' conflict with 'operational security'? If I'm going to be in an operation, I don't want some scoop-crazy journalist spouting off all of the details of said op. Now, they should KNOW what they can and can't put out there based on common sense-but some journalists will put a prize or some misguided principle above common sense.

    Not saying the previous two posters don't have a point-maybe if everyone saw the blood, there'd be less zeal for fighting-or not-but there IS a need for some restrictions on battlefield journalism.

    In this day and age where nearly every soldier has access to instant communication, I'm not sure there's a lot of delusion about how nasty a business war is.

  4. My comment is probably not going to make much sense and it will be jumbled, but wtf.. let's rock!

    I don't feel that journalists belong in a war zone. There is no reason for them to be there. If they lose their lives, it's (this will sound cold) because of their own doing. I don't see the need to have someone in the line of fire who lacks military training. It doesn't end on a rosey note usually.

    I don't favor the war. In fact, I wish there were no such thing as war. I wish we all could live in our own little worlds and co-exist peacefully when two different walks of life met. There should be tolerance in this world, but there is none.

    I don't feel its necessary to show the effects of war. I don't think it would sway the opinions of anyone.

    Even if I were in favor of the war, showing me a video of a soldier being decapitated or showing me a innocent child being raped by a soldier would change my mind.

    We all know the horrible consequences of war. I would hope that very little people glamorize it. I'm acknowledging that there are people out there who do glamorize it, but I just hope those numbers are few.

    To show the violent images to children would do nothing but give them nightmares for the rest of their lives. It would not stop war from happening.

    War has been a part of his world since the beginning, and it will exist til its end.

    My ramblings are done.

    If anything of that made sense, woohoo. If none made sense, well, I warned you.

  5. Even if I were in favor of the war, showing me a video of a soldier being decapitated or showing me a innocent child being raped by a soldier would NOT change my mind --

    wish there was an edit for comments.. lol

  6. U ~ You're right, that's why they do it I believe...or don't do it.

    Jamin ~ Cheers for stopping in. STOKED ya did. I think it's arrogance that gets many Journos killed. Go to Journalists Without Borders and you'll hear over and over how they have a RIGHT to be in the thick of it to tell the story. They seem to not grasp what that story ACTUALLY IS. It's a WAR.

    Y-Dog ~ Dunno if you've read House To House by David Bellavia - US Army in Fallujah - but he touched on the subject too. He said there were VERY few embeds that got along with the troops.

    I don't think there's delusion about the realities of war, but we haven't smelt a scorched baby or tried to move it. Or had to wade through all sorts or gore. Or piece together your neighbour. Most alive in our western societies don't grasp that side of it.

    SD ~ I'm undecided. I think we SHOULD see what consequences our votes and intolerance have. lol Don't ya hate that.

  7. Sorry to be so off-topic but HEy! I found you. :D

  8. lol Yes, you did. Great to see ya, Red.

  9. The American government learned their lesson from Vietnam. I'm sure there is a LOT of pressure on the news media to keep the coverage toned down.

  10. But surely it's archived somewhere?.

  11. Look for a book called the First Casualty it goes into the history of war correspondents from the Crimean War onwards. We live in a western democratic country and one of the principals which we espouse is the supposed 'freedom of the press'. However saying that journalists shouldn't be in a warzone is pretty silly when the entire country or region is a war zone - that guy who got his head chopped off in Pakistan wasn't anywhere near the actual fighting. There have been a couple of recent articles about how the Israelis have revamped their media relations to ensure that their message gets out despite all of the ugly photos and stories that are coming out of Gaza. These days the media is just another frontline - the AQ guys use the media as well as the yanks if not better. In fact you can't win a 21st century battle for 'hearts and minds' without using the media as effectively as possible.

  12. 100% agree. I'll look out for the book.

    Another aspect to journos in the frontline is intelligence 'leaks'. I just finished watching some reporters on Al Jazeera describing what the Israeli's were up to and what was around - mechanically, and where they were. To counter this the Israeli's have been deploying various stages at night.

    Sooner or later they'll get the shits and 'lose' a bomb on them. Reporters are a danger to themselves.

  13. Check out DART centre for Journalism & trauma.

    Truth telling is an ugly & often dangerous business.

  14. DUDE you got GB on your blog--I'm rolling him onto mine--snag!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Please leave your name/handle with your comment. It's important to stand next to our thoughts.