Views on media coverage of Syria

#1
It is my opinion that the majority of female reporters 'post' Kate Adie cannot; or rather are unable to, report dispassionatly from areas of conflict. The latest is Alex Crawford of Sky who, very much like Orla Guering of the BBC (with regard to the PLO, PLA, HAMAS et al and reporting from the Gaza and other areas within the Middle East;) could be considered almost a 'political officer' for the rebels. I do believe that however objectionable the current secular regime appears to be to the media it should be reported' on an equal basis; so why is our 'wannabe Kate' not visiting the sites of executed 'PoWs'?
How have others viewed the covererage?
 
#2
Ah but the Rebels are the desired victors in the eyes on much of the west. As apparently they ain't as bad as that 'Horrid Mr Assad'.

Or something.

The reporting has been rather restrained and conservative in my opinion
 
#4
Well personally I found the focused greatly on the negative actions of the Syrian Govt, as well as the victories, successes of the Rebels.

Yet most reports coming out of Syria from non mainstream media suggest both sides are committing equally terrible acts.

I just get the feeling that the agenda is to paint the rebels as the underdog heroes in what is actually a dirty scuffle where both sides are as bad as eachother
 

Command_doh

LE
Book Reviewer
#5
Horribly biased reporting, embedded with the 'brave freedom fighters'. Right, so nothing about the infighting and butchering amongst rebel groups and islamists/imported jihadists for weapons (aka Foreign 'aid') caches and seized military hardware? Nothing about the daily executions or torture of prisoners? And the only collateral damage is being done is by the 'evil Assad regime' right?

They should look no further than Egypt or Libya and how they are far from stable regimes with Islamist focuses before stirring the Syrian pot when the rest of the world tries to keep its nose out of a civil war.

Before the days of mass and global media nobody would have given a shit as they wouldnt have these ********* embedded Kate Aidie apologists banging their propaganda drum every 5 minutes.

Just like when Hafiz Assad squashed the last rebellion 30 years ago.
 
#6
They (the media) seem to have 'piped down' a little bit in my neck of the woods - no where near as frothy as they were during the libyan business. Attention span could be a major factor of course - & they can only whine about so many things at once.
 
#7
It is my opinion that the majority of female reporters 'post' Kate Adie cannot; or rather are unable to, report dispassionatly from areas of conflict. The latest is Alex Crawford of Sky who, very much like Orla Guering of the BBC (with regard to the PLO, PLA, HAMAS et al and reporting from the Gaza and other areas within the Middle East;) could be considered almost a 'political officer' for the rebels. I do believe that however objectionable the current secular regime appears to be to the media it should be reported' on an equal basis; so why is our 'wannabe Kate' not visiting the sites of executed 'PoWs'?
How have others viewed the covererage?
Just you wait till King of the Burpas gets here!

I'm slightly biased as I work regularly for both Sky and the BBC although I have not dropped into Syria with either - my overseas stuff tends to be with Al Jaz, and Various Americans.

The first point is that when covering the conflict from the Government's perspective, news crews are very much in the hands of the Official minders and subsequently they are 'allowed' to film where they are told to. This has always been a disadvantage of being embedded with Government forces - Libya, Egypt and Iraq were all good examples of host power's attempted manipulation of the foreign press corps. Something to be avoided. As a conspicuous TV crew with a recognized Reporter it's not easy to just head off where you want (one of the disadvantages of their being a known face). I've been arrested or detained in 7 different countries for doing my job and each time I've worried that my kit will be defenestrated or that I'll end up on page 2 of the Daily Mail.


By virtue of the fact that the rebel held areas are free from organized policing it is, of course, easier to access areas of note. The attendant issues include the fact that this is extremely dangerous and the chances of one's 'making the news' are a great deal higher on the rebels side. Specifically the lack of air power makes a huge difference -ask anyone that has been under sustained air attack. Often your position will mean little chance of 'back up' should a serious trauma arise - the advisor (usually all Brit ex-SF) with the team will have a trauma kit but even if they can stabilize -then what?

Alex and her team frequently frequently run this particular gauntlet but should another big local story come up it's possible her report won't even air. What she does is ****ing dangerous - I know for a fact that not so long ago her team, cut off and in the shit, thought they had had it and all made final calls home. The question is - is it worth it?
 
#8
It is my opinion that the majority of female reporters 'post' Kate Adie cannot; or rather are unable to, report dispassionatly from areas of conflict. The latest is Alex Crawford of Sky who, very much like Orla Guering of the BBC (with regard to the PLO, PLA, HAMAS et al and reporting from the Gaza and other areas within the Middle East;) could be considered almost a 'political officer' for the rebels. I do believe that however objectionable the current secular regime appears to be to the media it should be reported' on an equal basis; so why is our 'wannabe Kate' not visiting the sites of executed 'PoWs'?
How have others viewed the covererage?
From what I can see, most reporters are very biased and are too emotional these days and also take too many risks. There is a Sky wench reporter who was in Libya and to me it seemed her agenda was to get herself killed, which is all very well, but she has to think of her crew and people who have to get her out.

As for Syrian coverage, not seen much of it, but I would assume it will be very much like the Libyan coverage, very biased in support of the poor down trodden rebel troops and always slagging off government troops.
 
#9
Less important than the bias is the "unwritten" sub-text subliminally screaming "something must be done to save the Arab Spring and/or stop the horror" with the similarly unwritten assumption that somehow it should be the West doing the "something". Despite spending the previous decade busily telling all and sundry that the west was not wanted / could not succeed in Iraq / Afghanistan.
 
#10
From what I can see, most reporters are very biased and are too emotional these days and also take too many risks. There is a Sky wench reporter who was in Libya and to me it seemed her agenda was to get herself killed, which is all very well, but she has to think of her crew and people who have to get her out.

As for Syrian coverage, not seen much of it, but I would assume it will be very much like the Libyan coverage, very biased in support of the poor down trodden rebel troops and always slagging off government troops.
There were a couple of female reporters working for Sky in Libya - including Crawford. Her coverage of the conflict was extremely good and yes, risks were taken but the crew are aware of the potential issues before they deploy with her. She used the same cameraman for a while now and he knows his stuff.

Sky news is a 24hour channel - unless you are watching their output all day and watching every report broadcast about the conflict how can you know if the channel is biased or not. Generally speaking it is not biased - the reason we know this is that BOTH sides of the conflict are complaining that Sky reports were painting them in a negative light....

Saying you haven't seen the Syrian coverage but commenting is a bit like Mary Whitehouse saying 'I've not been to see Romans in Briton but I'm sure it's disgusting'

As for suggesting that Sky portrayed the rebel troops as being down trodden - well largely they were. Government troops were 'slagged off' for carrying out summary executions and various other atrocities.

I'd be interested to hear what you made of the media's coverage of the Gulf War - always slagging off Saddam's troops no doubt:winkrazz:
 
#11
Sky did award winning coverage of the civil war in Libya (with Alex in the thick of it) ,however with regards to Syria Sky have failed to live up to past coverage,I don't know why maybe they are looking for an award for the coverage of the US elections which was in my opinion overlong and cringeworthy. Still we do have Iran coming to our TV screens soon so maybe they are planning another marathon war report.I will look forward to that.
 
#12
Sky did award winning coverage of the civil war in Libya (with Alex in the thick of it) ,however with regards to Syria Sky have failed to live up to past coverage,I don't know why maybe they are looking for an award for the coverage of the US elections which was in my opinion overlong and cringeworthy. Still we do have Iran coming to our TV screens soon so maybe they are planning another marathon war report.I will look forward to that.

You are bang on Tuffy - Sky shipped about 30 crew and reporters off to the election but why? Until the result comes in there is not much to say. As for Syria - there is not as much appetite for the story as there was for Arab Spring proper - that was all so last season.

As regards this conflict the lines are a little more blurred - there are no White Hats and Black Hats so it's not easy for the great British Public to grasp who the good guy's are and who to root for.

If you want to observe bias then take a gander at Fox News' coverage of just about anything - but specifically the 2006 invasion of Lebanon by the IDF. I was on the Hezbollah side and got pretty pissed off with hearing American reporters broadcasting from Israel stating that 'WE will be rolling over the border any minute now...' when referring to the IDF's push.

They would froth at the mouth every time a rocket landed in Haifa but when the IDF targeted family homes (including a Doctor, his wife and three daughters) at 0400 simply because they had the temerity to have a house next to a temporary Hez Rocket launcher - then nobody cares.
 
#13
There were a couple of female reporters working for Sky in Libya - including Crawford. Her coverage of the conflict was extremely good and yes, risks were taken but the crew are aware of the potential issues before they deploy with her. She used the same cameraman for a while now and he knows his stuff.
I am sure he does know his stuff and I am sure they are all are aware of the situation they are going into, as was the reporter who got nabbed in Afghanistan that cost the lives of a Para who was sent to rescue him and the reporters fixer.

Sky news is a 24hour channel - unless you are watching their output all day and watching every report broadcast about the conflict how can you know if the channel is biased or not. Generally speaking it is not biased - the reason we know this is that BOTH sides of the conflict are complaining that Sky reports were painting them in a negative light....
Indeed it is 24 hours, but it is 24 hours of regurgitated stuff. I have often watched the same stories at 10:00 and 13:00 as I watched at 01:00. They also generally do not have a 100 different reporter covering the same story, so its pretty fair to say it is easy to see if it is biased.

Saying you haven't seen the Syrian coverage but commenting is a bit like Mary Whitehouse saying 'I've not been to see Romans in Briton but I'm sure it's disgusting'
Actually, I did not say I hadn't watched it, I said I saw very little of it.

As for suggesting that Sky portrayed the rebel troops as being down trodden - well largely they were. Government troops were 'slagged off' for carrying out summary executions and various other atrocities.
Are you suggesting that the rebel troops did not carry out summary executions and other atrocities?

I'd be interested to hear what you made of the media's coverage of the Gulf War - always slagging off Saddam's troops no doubt:winkrazz:
Which gulf war? I happened to be in Oman at the time of the last invasion of Iraq and sadly only had Fox News and CNN, which are more biased then Sky. They just showed stories of US troops.


When I watch news, I expect an unbiased, unemotional view of what is going on. I do not see that these days from Sky or the BBC. I see the reporters point of view, which is not what we get from Sky/ the BBC and certainly not from the yank ones.
 
#14
When I watch news, I expect an unbiased, unemotional view of what is going on. I do not see that these days from Sky or the BBC. I see the reporters point of view, which is not what we get from Sky/ the BBC and certainly not from the yank ones.
Please fill us all in on where you have found this "unbiased, unemotional view".
 

TheIronDuke

ADC
Book Reviewer
#15
the coverage of the US elections which was in my opinion overlong and cringeworthy.
Wasn't it just. Also on UK terrestrial channels to be fair.

For news on Syria and world news in general I'm watching RT and AlJ. I find their coverage more in-depth and less 'biased' (maybe because both are aware that this label could easily be hung on them). Examples - RT did a piece about the 'rebels' picking on the Kurds. Dragons teeth for the future no doubt. Also, they do not present 'the rebels' as one homogeneous group, rather they portray them for what they are - a bunch of gangs ranging through the good, the bad, the ugly and the scary.

And AlJ today broadcast a long interview with Assad. Interesting to get his views on world opinion and regional relations with his neighbours.
 
#16
I am sure he does know his stuff and I am sure they are all are aware of the situation they are going into, as was the reporter who got nabbed in Afghanistan that cost the lives of a Para who was sent to rescue him and the reporters fixer.
I can't speak for Farrell, a print journo who had been warned many times not to go to the zone he was lifted in - but when we go somewhere hostile it's a given that you are on your own. We have very capable, experienced ex SF 'advisers' who will assess a situation and will not be afraid to overrule the ego of the reporter.


Indeed it is 24 hours, but it is 24 hours of regurgitated stuff. I have often watched the same stories at 10:00 and 13:00 as I watched at 01:00. They also generally do not have a 100 different reporter covering the same story, so its pretty fair to say it is easy to see if it is biased.
I'm not so sure - whilst generally the content is output in cycles the scheduling can be somewhat erratic. It would be quite possible to see a Crawford piece but miss a Sam Kylie report from a different part of the conflict - especially if they are live.


Actually, I did not say I hadn't watched it, I said I saw very little of it.
Fair enough


Are you suggesting that the rebel troops did not carry out summary executions and other atrocities?
If you referring to Libya apart from actually buggering and then Shooting Gaddaffi I don't recall anything in particular. I assume you do know of some such atrocities - so unless you were there you must have learned of the Rebel's activities from the news... see where I'm going with this.



Which gulf war? I happened to be in Oman at the time of the last invasion of Iraq and sadly only had Fox News and CNN, which are more biased then Sky. They just showed stories of US troops.
Yes, totally agree with you. See my post above about my experiences with Fox.

When I watch news, I expect an unbiased, unemotional view of what is going on. I do not see that these days from Sky or the BBC. I see the reporters point of view, which is not what we get from Sky/ the BBC and certainly not from the yank ones.
All of the major UK broadcasters have stringent checks in place to try to ensure that no bias prevails and there are specific watchdogs whose sole purpose in life is to do this. I'm not defending them for any reason other than I believe that, on the whole, do a good job.

Observance of bias is very subjective - in parts of the the US Al Jazeera English is still known as Al Qaeda TV, however elsewhere it's won awards for it's coverage of the Middle East, and specifically Israel/Gaza.
 
#18
Another aspect of this reporting happens at the London end, ie choosing what does and what doesn't get screened. Little tale from Bosnia almost 20 years ago with the blessed Kate A.

The TV and Press were co-located with the Bn, but not embedded as such. They attended a daily P Info brief, but could choose to either spend the day with us on patrol or go and do their own thing.

One day, Kate and her team had gone off in their armoured landrover ('Miss Piggy') and got some good footage at no little risk to themselves. I was in BBC house that evening (free beer and a hot bath!) listening to her angrily arguing on the Immarsat that this 105 second story should be shown on the news. However, the Beeb had decided the UK had had enough of atrocity footage and asked her to get a nice fluffy story inside. Her report wasn't shown.
 

Goatman

ADC
Book Reviewer
#19
Interesting thread.

Two things:

One - news today of Russian NEO action underway via Latakia - Associated Press

Two - London based Arrsers with an interest in how the meeja and Armed Forces co-exist might want to pop along to this event tomorrow night (20 Feb 13 ) LINK
The future of British military engagement with the media

Wednesday 20 February 2013, 7:00 PM

March this year will mark ten years since the invasion of Iraq. In those ten years in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere, the media has embedded with British troops in an effort to report the conflicts.

We will be joined by an expert panel to look at the nature of the engagement between the British military and the media in light of more than ten years of conflict overseas.

As we see changes in the British military, the media and the nature of conflict zones, how will this relationship develop? We will be examining the management of the media and the judgements that are made about what to and what not to show.

Chaired by Stewart Purvis, Professor of television journalism at City University London. He is a former Editor-in-Chief and CEO of ITN, and Ofcom’s Partner for Content and Standards.
One of the panel is Robert Fox - who the old and bold may remember as a fresh faced young embed with the Paras on a thing called Op Corporate a while ago. He was filing stuff from FOB Shawqat in 2011, but haven't run into him since.

Be interesting to hear what he might have to say about l'affaire Petraeus and the media's role.... :)

Le Chevre
 
S

steveb1000

Guest
#20
The talk of Alex Crawford reminded me of this report, an extremely brave piece from Libya that was vital in exposing the truth of what was happening. Gripping footage. Battle For Zawiyah - Alex Crawford Reports - YouTube

My guess on Syria is that it's too complex and long running and has too many bad buys on both sides, for many news organisations to think it's worth the risk. There was an incident, not long after the famous foreign reporter Marie Colvin was killed, where several foreign reporters, including one from Channel 4, thought they had been deliberately put in harms way by the rebels, in the hope they would be killed, so that there would again be major publicity. I think that will have put off a lot of editors sending their teams there.

Also, to get an idea of the low pay, danger, and lack of care that reporters experience in Syria, read this excellent article by an Italian female journalist - just $70 for a story!! Woman's work : Columbia Journalism Review
 

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