Monday, November 13, 2006
Headlines. posted by Richard SeymourHere is the news. The BBC is a public service:
“We get public speaking training,” he (Gen. Rick Hillier) revealed to Profit magazine recently. “When I was in Afghanistan, we had people from the BBC come in to help us create the right perceptions, because perception is reality.”
In other news, we have a free media:
A DETAILED investigation into how the media covered the 2003 war in Iraq has found that commentators who questioned the Coalition line were given little chance to make their point.
The study - led by Dr Piers Robinson from The University of Manchester - also found that Sky News and ITV were most likely to report good news for the Coalition, Channel Four News the least likely with BBC News sitting somewhere in the middle.
The findings on BBC News go against accusations of bias levelled by politicians at the time including the then Home Secretary David Blunkett.
Among newspapers, the Sun gave the most explicit support to Coalition operations. But much newspaper coverage, even that of the anti-war Independent and Mirror, was supportive of the military campaign.
Dr Robinson, from the School of Social Sciences, led the team from Manchester, Leeds and Liverpool Universities which looked at all media briefings from the Coalition as well as news stories from the time.
He said: "Coverage of the war was narrated largely through the voice of the Coalition with much less attention given to other actors.
"This suggests that factors such as reliance upon elite sources, patriotism and news values rooted in episodic coverage continue to be important in shaping war-time coverage.
"Most reports did not discuss WMD at all but of those that did, 54% TV and 61% newspaper made substantial reference to the Weapons of Mass Destruction rationale for war in unproblematic terms, reinforcing the Coalition argument.
"Coverage overwhelmingly reflected the official line on the moral case for war: over 80% of TV and press stories mirrored the government position and less than 12% challenged it.
"Controversial issues such as civilian casualties and anti-war protest accounted for considerably less than 10% of news stories across both TV and newspapers.”
He added: "The Coalition was responsible for over 50% of direct quotations across TV channels and 45% across newspapers, but quotes from the Iraqi regime never amounted to more than 6% of the total.
"And while Iraqi civilians received a substantial degree of media attention as subjects, they were less well represented via direct quotation with figures ranging from 5% for Channel Four to Sky’s 11%, averaging 8% across newspapers.
"Anti-war actors were responsible for 6% of all quotes, fewer in TV coverage, while humanitarian actors never achieved more than 4% across both TV and newspapers."