Is there such thing as freedom of media
During the Iraqi war 2003, there were number of propagandas from the Iraqi and the Americans. A good illustration of that is that despite that the American’s troops was around Bagdad the Iraqi information minister announced false information stating that Iraq was under total control of the Iraqi government. By contrast the American propaganda focused on influencing the international opinions to justify the American military intervention. This blog will discuss the governmental pressures that are imposed on Journalist and the media in general to promote different political agenda.
During the camping, Iraqi government was asking the foreign media workers and journalists such as Al Jazeera and CNN to leave or stay under governmental control. In order for the journalist to stay they had to show certain stages of events that illustrates the support that Saddam had from the people, for example showing that people danced on street and support Saddam Hussein .However, those images was also showed by the western channels and Middle East . The reporters was under pressure and could not describe the situation as it is . The interesting point in Iraqi information minter AlSahaf , was that while the America troops were in Bagdad, he announced that Baghdad is under the Iraqi control. Nevertheless, the Iraqi government used the media as public diplomacy to express their views.
On the other hand, the American government used different propaganda which focused on viewing the suppression, violation of human rights as well as the threat that Saddam pose on the region and the western. The aim of this propaganda was to influence the international world to be in favor of military intervention which according to the US will ultimately provide democracy to Iraqi people and dismantle the nuclear that that Saddam pose.
After the invasion the American military encouraged journalist to report military operations on daily basis, this was a strategy to come closer to journalist and build good relationship with them in order to be able to influence their reports. The National Security Council, Clarke, with Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld on board, argued that “allowing journalists to report live from the front lines would give Americans the opportunity to get the story, both “good and bad — before others seed the media with disinformation and distortions, as they most certainly will continue to do.”(global issues)
Apart from building good relation with the media, American’s used similar propaganda as the Iraqi government during the war of showing that the American invasion was met with gratitude from the Iraqis who celebrated the freedom that American brought to the country.
Having succeeded in building relationship with the media, US government influenced the reporting the American soldiers as well as civilian people who died on daily basis during military operations according to General Tommy Franks of the US Central Command “We don’t do body counts”.(global issues ). In addition, another weakness that caused public confusion in regard the reports from Iraqi is the 24/7 broadcast of news which in most of the time reported incidents before it was officially investigated such as number of death.
Apart from the pro-American media, there were other Arab media such as Al Jazeera and Al Arabia who independently reported the war and showed more accurate picture of what was happening. These media were constantly prevented from reporting through the US military attacks that targeted their offices and in some cases killed their journalists.
To sum up
Regardless of whether it is a democratic or dictator regime, governments will always use the media as a tool to promote their own agenda and journalists are not being given their ultimate freedom to report events. However, there are other independent media who give accurate images of events, nevertheless, these media are targeted by super powerful countries a good example of that are Al Jazeera and Al Arabiya.
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A daily independent global news Hour . http://www.democracynow.org/2006/10/12/co_author_of_medical_study_estimating . Access on 30/4/2014
global issue Article 461. http://www.globalissues.org/article/461/media-reporting-journalism-and-propaganda#FallofSaddamandVindicationoftheWar . Access on 30/4/2014
Fairness accuracy in report . http://fair.org/take-action/action-alerts/new-york-times-rewrites-iraq-war-history/. Access on 20/4/2014