>in country: an unembedded view

>Where is journalism today?

The following is a three part look at what it’s like in Iraq today by Ghaith Abdul-Ahad. It is worth taking the time to watch all three.

I believe these clips represent real journalism. By way of comparison, ask yourself if what you get from mainstream American news is real journalism. For the most part the answer has to be no.

When it comes to the war against Iraq there are few more problematic issues than the fact of the embedded journalist. Sure there are some good journalists who are embedded and who try to get good stories from within the cocoon, but most do not and cannot. And yet, I do not envy the non-embedded journalists, a number of whom have been killed or wounded in the the war because they operate largely without protection. There is a price to pay for being a non-protected journalist.

But there is also a price for embeddedness – that is the loss of objectivity and integrity.

When the war began I found several non-American news outlets that had video clips and articles about the war (these were mostly German & French news sites online). What I saw was very different than what American news was providing. Interestingly the other news sources didn’t come across as biased, just much better. What one saw was the other side of the conflict. In other words one witnessed what was happening to the Iraqi people, not merely columns of tanks charging ahead or interviews of American soldiers saying they were fighting for freedom and giving payback for 9/11. In fact, it was the American news that seemed biased – biased toward war, biased toward the machines of war, biased toward images of toppling statues.

It is by watching journalism like those clips above that we begin to understand what we generally are not getting in American news.

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