Sugarcoating of the U.S. media

By Jessica Goldberg
April 10, 2003

People in other countries see a somewhat different Iraq war than the people in the United States. U.S. media and the media in other countries show a different view of the war. The United States government was preparing themselves for a huge propaganda war. If this wasn’t the case, why else would the Pentagon allow reporters, like Geraldo Rivera and others, to embed with troops. Unfortunately, the media is losing the television battle.

In the April 7, 2003 issue of “Newsweek”, reporter Jonathan Alter states: “Al-Jazeera is to the Iraq war what CNN was to the 1991 gulf war – the primary source for news worldwide.” Al-Jazeera supplies countries (even the U.S.) with extremely graphic and raw footage of the war. This is not always a good thing because the United States is trying to limit the amount of footage seen by the people. When Iraqi soldiers captured a convoy a few weeks ago, the coverage varied widely and the world saw four different spins on this capture. Iraqi television shows a tape of POWs and dead soldiers, and according to “Newsweek”, the station said that the United States was “dragging their feet with defeat and loss.” Al-Jazeera warned that the footage was graphic, yet still cut to footage of dead soldiers, as well as POWs being interrogated. In the United States, ABC News decided not to air this footage, but the next day decided to show clips as a story about some POW families. Fox news decided not to show the video at all and only stated that Donald Rumsfeld said Al-Jazeera went against the Geneva Convention. All of the talk about Al-Jazeera shows that there are other countries that capture news as well as send that news to more countries.

While surfing the internet for possible sites for people to learn what other countries are saying about the war, I came across www.arabnews.com. While reading the headlining articles, I noticed one whose title just didn’t seem to fit. It is an exclusive called Just a Few Weeks Ago. While reading the first few sentences I saw how one reporter for this site felt. This article is actually about an Iraqi girl who was killed on her seventh birthday. The reporter went into great detail of how she died and how it was from a U.S. bomb. I didn’t want to just write about a horrible article, so I decided to take a closer look into more of the postings. I read an article about the rescue of Jessica Lynch, and maybe this journalist was just very good, but it was an amazing article. It went into detail of what people had to do to rescue this young woman, and how the commander went with his team to rescue her. There is a site from the country we have invaded, sharing extremely varied tastes on the war.

Another site I visited was www.iraqiamericans.com. It is not a newspaper, but it is a site that shows what is going on in the hearts of the people in Iraq right now, and the people from Iraq in the United States. I heard about this site when I was on my way to school listening to the radio. There was an Iraqi man talking about Saddam Hussein and what a horrible person he is, which is something everyone hears. The site talks about how Iraqi Americans are in favor of the war, but by being so, they fear for their family members who are still over seas. This site is not for those of a weak stomach. There is a link where a Dr. Al Fadhal talks about Saddams mass genocide. It shows pictures of a beautiful country before Saddam, and then what Saddam did to his people and the country. After looking at those pictures I almost cried.

There are many sites a student can go to in order to get a different view of the war, and I definitely recommend that students do in fact visit these two sites mentioned as well as others. A person can broaden his or her horizons by learning what other countries think about what is going on. Since the United States is fighting, we are biased, but other countries aren’t because they are on the outside looking in.

Posted to the web by Steph Mangold

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Jessica Goldberg

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