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Media's live coverage of the war

  1. Mar 22, 2003 #1


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    since watching what is happening to Iraq on the major news stations, i have decided to boycott watching any news coverage of the war on television...i have a 6 year old who has become deeply disturbed by the situation, and is confused as to why...

    my question is this: is it right for journalists to get up close to the violent activity and broadcast what is going on (mostly in the name of competition) while our children are absorbing this in? sure i realize it is reality, however, a 6 year old should be allowed to enjoy her youth and not be exposed to the harshness of this reality until she's older?
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  3. Mar 22, 2003 #2
    I think it can be good for us adults to see what warfare is like close up. But I suppose that there won't be too many pictures of people suffering; this would have a negative impact on public opinion.

    It does seem absurd to be watching a person live in Baghdad who is commenting on bombs being dropped.

    I am one of those awful liberals that likes watching the news on public television. I find the networks a bit fast and flashy for my tastes. NPT seems to have less bravado than the networks.
  4. Mar 22, 2003 #3
    Kerrie, what channel are you watching? All I see are some explosions and baghdad views. My concern however is how the media is presenting it all. It's almost like entertainment and that bothers me greatly.
  5. Mar 22, 2003 #4


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    greg, you stated exactly what i meant...the media is portraying this war as entertainment in order to get the public's attention for their ratings, over reporting facts...

    all of the news channels seem to be doing this...i just listen to Oregon Public Radio now..
  6. Mar 22, 2003 #5


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    Hey, it's the 21st century !
    Nothing we can do about it.
  7. Mar 22, 2003 #6


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    nothing we can do about it? that's a productive attitude...
  8. Mar 23, 2003 #7


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    It's a tough question, but news of this sort must neccessarily straddle the line between informing the public (which is definitely neccessary for a democracy at war. The public must confront the reality of what is done in their name) and entertainment (which is tasteless and disrespectful of the people fighting it)
    Hence, I am tempted to say: "If you don't wanna watch it, change the channel!"
  9. Mar 23, 2003 #8
    Kerrie, There is very little news on the news. It's the same stuff over and over again like a loop. I get frustrated if I watch more than 20 minutes at a time because any scrap of information is seized upon as though it's of vital significance, even if it explains nothing.

    I have watched a green tv screen as I am told it is Baghdad live; I've seen tv journalists riding in jeeps saying they have driven all day in jeeps; I've listened to Rumsfield having to field one ridiculous question after the other.

    The horrible thing is it seems to make the viewer want more to happen. I should be happy when there's little killing or when it seems the war is going to end quickly.
  10. Mar 23, 2003 #9
    ^^^ Reasons not to watch TV news. I leave http://www.agonist.org/ open, and refresh it every few hours to see what's going on. BBC, the Guardian, Reuters, and Ha'aretz have good major media sites.
  11. Mar 23, 2003 #10
    Suely as the one who is making the decisions in your home, you should be swithching the TV over to the cartoon network for you children! And then you could always put on a video,,or DVD?

    Or maybe announce to the worlds press what you want to be relayed through the news network, and then discuss with your children what is coming through the TV, in a pre-determined reality, we have choices!

  12. Mar 23, 2003 #11
    I'm going to play devil's advocate here. I'm going to suggest that all children should be forced to understand what 'war' is. That way, when they grow-up, their ignorance will not allow wars to befall us so easily. And maybe the world will become a more peaceful place.
    I know war is a terrible thing. But if we hide our kids from its horrors, then what price their future, as adults?

    Edit: But I understand your dilemma. Who would want their own children to suffer mental anguish?
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 23, 2003
  13. Mar 23, 2003 #12
    Remeber Sept 11, who amongst you doesn't right?

    I got back to 'here' on Sept 14, noticed that the flags were at half staff, two hours later I found out, (from TV) in fifteen minutes all of what had happened on the Eleventh.

    It is a horror that your children should have to have this experiance so young, it is good for them to know, but at what age is a parental responcibility that no teacher can replace, as you know your child better then any teacher in school is every going to get the chance to know them.

    Then again, try to grip the simple reality that for their children, the children in Iraq, it is upon their heads that the Geo-Orge is about to unleash his B-52's, sieging the city and flattening the antiquites of man, nature, and the children of Islam Murdered.

    For there six year olds, the bombs are dropping on their heads, that is what you are watching, not a cartoon to watch over dinner, but bloody murder, right in your living rooms, live on TV!
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2003
  14. Mar 23, 2003 #13
    The media has its ways...

    I know it's horrible to mention, but the repeated coverage of 9/11 angered a good bit of the locals in my area against people who looked of Arab-descent. They want to repeat the news, that's fine, but there was some bit that brought in the issue of race and religion. Indians and Arabs are different but no one really cares because in the eyes of some people, a foreigner is a foreigner.

    Kerrie, I understand your points. I'm 20 years old and yet I'm disturbed and confused about the entire situation. Everyone (house, campus, church) are either pro-war or anti-war but I'm so confused about the whole situation that I have no idea what to think.

    It's times like this where I thank God I have science to escape into. If I were a history or political science major, only God knows how it would have affected me.

    Being a science major relieves me of making a decision in the pubic's eye.
  15. Mar 23, 2003 #14
    I think the above comment would be okay only if EVERY channel you turn to is in one way or another talking about it!!!

    Kerri I do agree with you!!
  16. Mar 24, 2003 #15
    There's a sinister voyeristic quality to watching an entire government being destroyed, but as we can all see on al-jazeera the sword has two edges, pardon the pun.
    BTW there is a lot of censorship going on, the internet has been targeted:
    iranian news was shut off last time I checked, and
    was off.
  17. Mar 24, 2003 #16
    ^^^ I think it's just server overload rather than censorship. I haven't been able to get to al Jazeera all day, but I've had no problem getting to IRNA (check it quite often.)
  18. Mar 24, 2003 #17
    The worst scenes i've been watching were the CNN commercials on their economic shows.

    As if this is the most important thing to focus on right now. What also irritated me (and this has everything to do with making this war entertainment) are the nice and flashy logo's that are continously in the pictures.
  19. Mar 24, 2003 #18
    I suppose this was done to prevent the spread of the images of killed/captured american soldiers. That would explain why they targeted Iranian and al-jazeera television. These pictures were shown on dutch television (unfortunatly i think) and they were ugly. Wether it are Iraqi's, american's or anybody else, does not matter. These things should not be broadcast.
  20. Mar 24, 2003 #19


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    How bout that off button?

    I'm not a big supporter of t.v. period, particularly during war time. My children may watch a select FEW t.v. programs but it is seldom mainstream t.v.
    During this last week I've just kept it off while the kids were awake. Period. The break ins during childrens programming even on PBS were pretty graphic for my youngest (9yrs)
    So, it's strictly videos or dvd's for now.

    I disagree with LG about allowing children to view graphic violence of any nature thinking it will dissuade them from violence later. Violence does..beget...violence. Viewing violence..de-sensitizes children to violence.

    Of course, as I'm sure you know Kerrie, even shutting off your t.v. does not protect your children from the blaring t.v. everywhere else you may venture..the mall..the hairdressers...the doctors office etc. etc. I think irrelevant of Mr. P's. ranting it's important to make your children feel safe and secure...simply telling them in ways that they can grasp that this is happening far away, you can let them know it is real and it is very sad and maybe allow them to learn how to be helpful by taking part in humanitarian efforts (knitting warm slippers, making a teddy bear, making a baby blanket etc.) these programs can be found by a simple search on the internet. I found many while looking for "free knitting patterns". and "free sewing patterns".

    These things won't make the war go away, may not seem fair to the children being bombed..but as a parent my main responsibility is the safety, security and well being of my own child.
  21. Mar 24, 2003 #20
    Re: How bout that off button?

    not true kat, i know many examples that contatdict your postion; myself included. people are more than just a refelction of their enviroment. :wink:
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