Saturday, September 30, 2017

Always Check Your Sources When It Comes To Media Coverage In Conflict Zones

Journalists interviewing Russian General Igor Konashenkov (ru:И́горь Конаше́нков) at Bassel Al-Assad International Airport during the Russian military intervention in the Syrian Civil War. Wikipedia

Rodger Shanahan, Lowy Institute: War Reporting 101: Check Your Sources

Earlier this year I wrote about the willingness of the news media to highlight claims of civilian casualties caused by coalition forces operating in Iraq and Syria, but their apparent unwillingness to critically examine their sources or to follow up when their claims have been denied, dismissed or proven wrong by the coalition. Of course, errors happen in war and civilians are killed. But some groups and individuals also claim civilians have been killed when they don't know the facts. And in other cases, they use the media to promote claims they know to be false.

This issue has been the subject of some heated discussion in Foreign Policy. The founder of Airwars, a site that investigates and reports on alleged civilian casualties, wrote a scathing article criticising US acceptance of, and attitudes to, civilian casualties. In response, the commander of the Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve Stephen Townsend took to Foreign Policy to criticise advocacy groups and the media for a lack of intellectual rigour in assessing their sources before making claims of civilian casualties. He noted that, of the 270 allegations made by Airwars that had been assessed, 258 (more than 95%) had been found to be non-credible.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: This blog has been covering wars and conflicts for 10 years. And during this time I have lost count on what was reported one day .... then proven to be false or misleading a week/month/year later. The best formula that I have found to counter all of this is to list multiple sources, indicate who they are, and if I have personal experience related to the story being posted .... to then express my opinion.

1 comment:

fred said...

General rule of thumb
1. do not trust anything said by the nation involved in the war
2. do not trust anything said by the nation #1 is fighting against