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|CNN "..committed to neutral news dispensation.." ???|
|01/22/02 at 11:59:22|
|Bismillah Salam alaykum .. |
Please read it all.
The mark of news
The American news network CNN prides itself on being the first to let its viewers know... Anupa Prathap seeks to clear the clouds of allusion and illusion surrounding the news organisation that has built itself into an international brand
"Tony Maddox ... 'CNN has earned the right to broadcast because we are not on sale, to be bought, bartered or in any way compromised'."
News connects the world, globalising a village spread across continents leading to views and analysis that directs the future. It reaches the far corners via various channels.
CNN is one such international conduit that is seen and heard across the world, with its unique brand of commercialism that has seen more journalist superstars created than any other media.
Launched in 1980, with one television network and availability to 1.7 million homes, today, according to the company, they have 150 million viewers and performs as a comprehensive American news service.
A remarkable climb, which has been achieved by the aggressive hard sell of the CNN brand, which has more than 30 extensions worldwide on television, Internet, radio and mobile services.
Does this preclude neutrality in news reporting? Several factions have accused the service of spin doctoring the news, especially after the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center in downtown Manhattan, the U.S.
Tony Maddox, senior vice-president for CNN International – Europe, Middle East and Africa, who was recently in Dubai for the launch of their bureau and Arabic language site CNNarabic.com, dismissed the allegations with a flick of his finger.
"We were never the voice of the American government. We are an independent news body and have never followed the U.S. agenda and are committed to neutral news dispensation," he said.
"Ninety nine point nine per cent of the time, the reporting in international media is fair and neutral. I have met very few reporters with a hidden agenda.
"Governments will continue attempting to put a spin on their news, to influence the press always, in a ham fisted or subtle manner.
"The number of journalists facing problems as they work in disagreeable environments is appallingly increasing. CNN has earned the right to broadcast because we are not on sale, to be bought, bartered or in any way compromised.
"It is very difficult, as we are harassed and chased out... it's the nature of our work. What we do is never to succumb to any attempts in altering our neutrality in news coverage," emphasised Maddox.
How does it explain a recent memo by CNN bigwigs to editorial staff asking them to put all news reported from Afghanistan, about the conflict and casualties "in context"?
"It is a reference to what I suppose was the ongoing debate, in fact, in every newsroom, as all try and balance the presentation of news ... putting into perspective what led to the particular story.
In any given day for example in the Middle East, the Palestinian or Israeli side does something and a counteraction is carried out. So you have to inform people what led to it, it is not about putting a spin on news," Maddox said.
Spin can be achieved by presentation, alteration and censorship. Interview on the Qatari Al Jazira channel, of the Saudi dissident Osama bin Laden, accused of being the mastermind behind the terrorist attacks on the U.S. last year, was taken off the air on request by the American government.
Maddox responded: "In the case of telecast of the Osama bin Laden interview, the media or rather journalists raised the issue before the government ... wouldn't it be better to check before telecasting it?
"He could be issuing instructions on air and we are responsible for what we are putting out there as a broadcasting company."
As the various networks war for viewers, is the need for getting higher sales figures upping the ante for fairness in all news that is delivered into the homes of people; has packaging taken away the sheen of the genuine article? "I have no problems with news being made more accessible. You look at newspapers decades ago, the layout was so dense and boring," Maddox said.
"The attempt to make it more relevant to the people doesn't in any way take away from the news. Commercialism doesn't take away from the news. We as CNN offer a lot of services including text, news, language, etc. We are a brand and have to be everywhere along with being fair and impartial in our news coverage. Commercialism puts pressure on us to ensure that the quality of the product is constantly high."
Speaking about the burgeoning number of news channels and interactive Internet sites, Maddox added that there was no fear of any of the existing modes dying out.
"All media are here to stay, when radio came in, people thought newspaper would die out but all have survived. ...newspaper has taken on a more analytical role and can spend time on investigative pieces, it has adapted rather well... providing relevant news. A new entrant doesn't necessarily preclude the others," he said.
Dubai Media City is the headquarters of CNN's fifth news gathering operation in the Middle East, complementing the organisation's four other bureaus in the region, located in Cairo, Jerusalem, Beirut and Baghdad.
Worldwide, the organisation has 3,950 staff, 42 bureaus, almost 900 affiliates and eight production centres. Journalists from more than 50 different countries are based at CNN's Atlanta headquarters, in addition to a wide number of nationalities who work for the organisations' international network
The biased reporting that makes killing acceptable
By Robert Fisk
14 November 2000
When CNN's Cairo bureau chief, Ben Wedeman, was shot in a gun battle in Gaza last month, I waited to hear how his employers would handle the story. Having visited the spot where Wedeman was hit in the back, I realised that the bullet must have been fired by Israeli soldiers at a location on the other side of the nearest crossroads. So, what happened? CNN reported that "most of the bullets" fired came from the Israelis, but - according to a pathetic response from a company spokesman in London - CNN was not going to suggest who was to blame "at this time". Indeed not. The American Associated Press news agency later reported - a real killer, this one - that Wedeman had been "caught up in crossfire".
So much, I thought, for the 150 or so Palestinians shot dead by Israeli troops over the past six weeks. If CNN didn't have the courage to tell the truth about the shooting of its own reporter, what chance did the Palestinians have? The latest shocking piece of American journalism promises to be an "exclusive" on the American CBS network, whose 60 Minutes team has been given access to an Israeli army "re-enactment" of the killing - by Israeli troops - of 12-year-old Mohamed al-Dura. The picture of him cowering in the arms of his father and then collapsing dead beside him has become an iconic image of the current conflict in the Middle East.
The Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz, whose reporting of the battles outshines anything appearing in the supine American press, has already quoted an Israeli member of the Knesset, Ophir Pines-Paz, who complains that the reconstruction sounds "fictitious" and like an attempt to "cover up the incident by means of an inquiry with foregone conclusions... the sole purpose of which is to clear the IDF of responsibility for Al-Dura's death". Lobby groups in the United States, including a few brave American Jews, are demanding to know why the CBS network is filming a partial inquiry that is intended to prove that those who killed a little boy didn't kill him - without, apparently, even asking the Palestinians for their version of events.
It is all part of a familiar, weary pattern of biased reporting, which, over the past few weeks, has started to become dangerous as well as deeply misleading. The Israeli line - that Palestinians are essentially responsible for "violence", responsible for the killing of their own children by Israeli soldiers, responsible for refusing to make concessions for peace - has been accepted almost totally by the media. Only yesterday, a BBC World Service anchorman allowed an Israeli diplomat in Washington, Tara Herzl, to excuse the shooting of stone-throwers - almost 200 of them - by Israeli soldiers on the grounds that "they are there with people who are shooting". If that was the case - which it usually is not - then why were the Israelis shooting the stone-throwers rather than the gunmen?
The murder of Israelis rightly receives much coverage. The killing of two Israeli soldiers in Ramallah police station was filmed only through the courage of one camera crew. The Palestinians did their best to seize all picture coverage of the atrocity. Yet when an Israeli helicopter pilot fired an air-to-ground missile at a low-ranking Palestinian militiaman on Friday, it also killed two totally innocent middle-aged Palestinian women. In its initial reports, BBC World Service Television reported that. Yet by yesterday morning, the BBC was able to refer to the "assassination" of the Palestinian without mentioning the two innocent women - 58-year-old Azizi Gubran and 55-year-old Arachme Shaheen - blown to pieces by the same Israeli missile. They had been airbrushed from the story.
Then we have that old bugbear the "clash". Palestinians die "in clashes" - as if they are accidentally shot rather than targets for Israeli snipers. The use of that word - and the opportunity it affords journalists of not stating that Israelis killed them - is little short of a scandal. Take Reuters' report from Jerusalem on 30 October by Howard Goller, which referred to five Palestinians "wounded in stone-throwing clashes" and the funerals of Palestinians "killed in earlier clashes". Yet, in a report on the same day, Goller wrote of an Israeli shot dead by a "suspected Palestinian gunman", while his colleague on Reuters, Sergei Shargorodsky, referred to "Palestinian shooting attacks on Jewish settlements" and an Israeli man stabbed to death, "presumably by Palestinians". Funny, isn't it, how the responsibility for the killing of Israelis tends to be so explicitly - and rightly - apportioned, while blame for the killing of Palestinians is not?
But on we go, reporting the Middle East tragedy with all our own little uncontroversial clichés and amnesia and avoidance of "controversial" subjects. Such journalism is already leading - despite the extraordinary casualty figures - to a public view that the Palestinians are solely responsible for the bloodbath, that they are generically violent, untrustworthy murderers. I think this kind of reporting helps to condone the taking of human life.
|Re: CNN "..committed to neutral news dispensation.." ???|
|01/22/02 at 14:39:18|
|Bismillah and salam,|
I am so confused by USA. If a woman was abused her whole marriage breaks free and is traumatized and goes out and gets him for what he did to her. She is charged because it was meditated. Yet the will act in the same agrieved, avenging the victim mentality on an international scale?! They will defy international law creating new vocab and rules as they go about doing it.
At first the war on terrorism was coined as a metaphor for catching it the root. What has happened is they are killing thousands and creating many more victims that will probably have the same attitude as them. And CNN is doing a great job at using the kind of treatment the Aghanis in Gantanamo bay to avert our thinking of the fact that the US refuses to call POW's. International law states that they are not criminals, they are POWs. Even if the other party does not recognize the other as a legit state.
So full of contradictions and hyppocracy. Their fight for justice is the only worthy one. They are the only ones allowed to break the rules. Why aren't they stopping the Isreali occupation? And i really wonder what their reaction will be when some of their service men and women are taken hostigaes or prisoners and not treated according to international law? It will haunt them what they do.
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