The Danger of Propaganda by not allowing Independent Reporters.
By, Uwe Paschen.
Now, I am not the first nor will I be the last to write about Journalist and Reporters getting the news wrong, for lack of taking the time to check the authenticity and correctness of the said news or simply due to a lack of accurate news available, due to media black out. Falling then into the Propaganda trap of either sides of the conflict and this especially in highly volatile conflicts such as the present one between Hamas and Israel.
This in particular when no real reporters can be on the ground and the only news there is may be from blogs and web site, hearsay or Press releases from Military or groups with out any means to verify it authenticity and neutrality. This only a trained Reporter can do by being on the ground and checking the information directly or witnessing it.
The Problem with Media Black outs such as the one Israel imposes on Gaza by making it impossible for any Reporter to enter or exit Gaza and blocking all Internet and Telephone communication as it is doing presently gives room for false news to come out through activist sending off video and voice reports as well as Blogs that are either false or doctored from another time or location and adapted to the events in Gaza, and this is done by both sides of the conflict feeding falls information to the media, has it did happen with the News channel from France 2.
Not only the web can get it wrong, no, even the Professionals of the French Public Television station “France 2” do get it wrong. I call it the Breaking news syndrome to wish I did once fall victim my self and hope never ever again though. Yet, the problem is a persistent one especially with war and either side trying to win the Propaganda war as well as the Physical one fought out on the ground.
France 2 the French public TV channel did as other would and could have broadcast a Video that it received about the ongoing war in Gaza, this ended up on the 13:00 Hours news broadcast. The video originated from a blog on this site http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=3b3_1230864719. And was revelled as a fake by some other blogs on the Web who signalled this to LE POST a French news paper.
After double-checking the video and the sources, it came out that this video dated from the 22nd of September 2005 and not as indicated from the 01st of January 2009. FRANCE 2 looked rather foolish and embarrassed to say the least. Nevertheless FRANCE 2 admitted their mistake and apologize of course through their second in command namely Etienne Leenhardt, that was interviewed by LE POST.
The problem is that the Web being a great and fast tool in deed, it is also a dangerous harbour for misinformation and propaganda from all sides. Some thing all that report the news ethically and truthfully have to be aware off and watch out for, since the traps are everywhere. Moreover, at times it is rather hard to distinguish trues from falls and News from Propaganda.
Why we need eyewitness reporter on the ground so the news can be reported accurately and neutrally and not having to rely on Web Blogs for information that are or could be doctored with. The fact alone that Israel blocks all News, this by it self does speak volumes. And false news does not help here at all. Especially not the people in Gaza.
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Montreal, Quebec, Canada