WHO COVERED THE WAR BEST? TRY AL-JAZEERA
Frances S. Hasso, Newsday, 4/17/03
Al-Jazeera's extended, uncensored, on-the-ground coverage of the
invasion has demonstrated, contrary to U.S. and British claims, that
this has not been a bloodless, costless and clean war. The coverage
has reflected the Arab recognition that the Saddam Hussein
dictatorship was a tragedy, but it has also questioned the claim that
the war has been motivated by interest in regional democracy and
In addition to showing images largely censored by the U.S. media of
the death, destruction and pain of war on all sides, al-Jazeera has
conducted interviews with Kurdish leaders who have explained their
alliance with the United States and Britain on the basis of the
historic violence of Baathist Arabism, visited a small town in Iran
that is the haven of Iraqi Shia refugees who fled Hussein's rule and
shown the anger, as well as political sophistication, of anti-war
demonstrators in the region...
Al-Jazeera viewers have also received live, full coverage of press
statements and conferences held by U.S., Iraqi, United Nations, Arab
League, European Union, French, British, Egyptian, Saudi and other
officials, thus always reflecting multiple realities throughout the
war that are once again not covered routinely by the U.S. news
Charges of al-Jazeera Arab and Muslim bias ring untrue given the U.S.
television media's crass nationalist apologetics, best demonstrated
by Fox News and CNN, and their heavy reliance on superficial sound
bites, interviews with current or former government officials, and
expertise from a narrow ideological range...
CABLE'S WAR COVERAGE SUGGESTS A NEW 'FOX EFFECT' ON TELEVISION
Jim Rutenberg, New York Times, 4/17/03
This was supposed to be CNN's war, a chance for the network, which is
owned by AOL Time Warner, to reassert its ratings lead using its
international perspective and straightforward approach.
Instead, it has been the Fox News Channel, owned by the News
Corporation, that has emerged as the most-watched source of cable
news by far, with anchors and commentators who skewer the mainstream
media, disparage the French and flay anybody else who questions
President Bush's war effort.
Fox's formula had already proved there were huge ratings in
opinionated news with an America-first flair. But with 46 of the top
50 cable shows last week alone, Fox has brought prominence to a new
sort of TV journalism that casts aside traditional notions of
objectivity, holds contempt for dissent and eschews the skepticism of
government at mainstream journalism's core.
News executives at other networks are keeping a wary eye on Fox News,
trying to figure out what, if anything, its progress will mean to
"I certainly think that all news people are watching the success of
Fox," said Andrew Heyward, president of CBS News. "There is a long-
standing tradition in the mainstream press of middle-of-the-road
journalism that is objective and fair. I would hate to see that fall
victim to a panic about the Fox effect..."
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