Media's live coverage of the war

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  • #1
Kerrie
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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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  • #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.
 
  • #3
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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.
 
  • #4
Kerrie
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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..
 
  • #5
drag
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Hey, it's the 21st century !
Nothing we can do about it.
 
  • #6
Kerrie
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nothing we can do about it? that's a productive attitude...
 
  • #7
FZ+
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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 necessary 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 want to watch it, change the channel!"
 
  • #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.
 
  • #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.
 
  • #10
ranyart
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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!

USE THEM!
 
  • #11
Originally posted by Kerrie
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?
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?
 
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  • #12
Mr. Robin Parsons
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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 experience 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!
 
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  • #13
Sting
157
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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.
 
  • #14
Sourire
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Originally posted by FZ+
It's a tough question, but news of this sort must neccessarily straddle the line between informing the public (which is definitely necessary 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 want to watch it, change the channel!"

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!!
 
  • #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:
www.irna.com[/URL]
iranian news was shut off last time I checked, and
[PLAIN]www.al-jazeera.com[/URL]
was off.
 
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  • #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.)
 
  • #17
heumpje
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The worst scenes I've been watching were the CNN commercials on their economic shows.

CNN has expert anlysis from experts around the globe, telling you how the war will influence your country, your economy, your MONEY

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.
 
  • #18
heumpje
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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.
 
  • #19
kat
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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.
 
  • #20


Originally posted by kat
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.


not true kat, i know many examples that contatdict your postion; myself included. people are more than just a refelction of their enviroment. :wink:
 
  • #21
kat
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Originally posted by kyleb
not true kat, i know many examples that contatdict your postion; myself included. people are more than just a refelction of their enviroment. :wink:
Despite the consensus among experts, lay
people do not seem to be getting the message
from the popular press that media violence
contributes to a more violent society. We recently
demonstrated that even as the scientific
evidence linking media violence to aggression
has accumulated, news reports about the
effects of media violence have shifted to
weaker statements, implying that there is little
evidence for such effects (4). This inaccurate
reporting in the popular press may account
for continuing controversy long after the debate
should have been over, much as the
cigarette smoking/cancer controversy persisted
long after the scientific community knew
that smoking causes cancer.


Obviously, you must be a member of the "lay" persons mentioned above.
The Effects Of Media Violence On Society
 
  • #22
In WW1, the ignorant masses were queueing-up to fight by their millions... thinking that they'd be home by christmas as glorious heroes. They were actually keen to fight. And I think that this was entirely due to ignorance of the brutality of war.
Thus, I see 'ignorance' as an ally to war. That's why I think it's important that kids should be aware of exactly what war is like. Though it would probably be better to wait till the kids are 13-15 before showing them such stuff. Admittedly, seeing such things can have an adverse affect.
 
  • #24


Originally posted by kat
Obviously, you must be a member of the "lay" persons mentioned above.

actually i am a living contradiction to your supposed truth. obviously, you must be a member of the pompous asses that try to pass of opinion as fact and oppress others with so arrogant and corrupted ideology.
 
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  • #25
kat
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Originally posted by kyleb
actually i am a living contradiction to your supposed truth.
The manner in which you express yourself would suggest that you are not a "living" contradiction, indeed it would appear to be a confirmation.
 
  • #26
expressing displeasure with ones words and committing acts of violence are two separate things. i enjoy my right to do the former and do not support the latter by any means.
 
  • #27
russ_watters
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Kyleb, the association here is a STATISTICAL one, not an individual one. It doesn't matter that YOU haven't comitted a violent crime, just that violent crime is statistically linked to violence in media.
 
  • #28
oh statistics, how can one argue against that with silly little things like personal experience.

also, 4 out of 5 dentist agree that you are using the wrong toothpaste russ.
 
  • #29
russ_watters
Mentor
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oh statistics, how can one argue against that with silly little things like personal experience.
Lemme guess. Airplanes scare you. Understanding statistics and statistical analysis is KEY to understanding the meaning of the word "risk." Yes, basing your opinion soley on personal experience IS a silly thing.
 
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  • #30
lol, actually i have flown on many an airplane. quite a few of those flights were, back and forth from Europe back in the 80's when i had to consider the possibility that i might get blown out of the sky by a bunch of lunatics as well. also, i never suggested one should base opinion solely on personal experience; only that it is a relevant factor which deserves consideration. also, by personal experience i am not referring solely to myself but others who i have seen first hand; both ones who have seen much violence and do not engage in it as well as others who were generally shielded from witnessing such things yet still act violently upon others.
 
  • #31
Kerrie, you should shield your child, Greg...

refering to your post on page 1... Thats exactly what I thought it was like watching a football game, it felt, looked and seemed surreal. I was thinking are these guys real . I read novels that satarize the media yet I can almost believe that they would film the last drop of blood oozing out of someone not quite mortally wounded rather than offering to help because it wouldn't be as dramatic, while barking questions like "Are you feeling like this is the end?", "What do you think the reaction will be back home when they are notified?" Its ludicrous.
Kerrie, I'm sure you can sympathize with the mothers of the children over in Iraq, who can only comfort their children as best they can under the circumstances. The kids over there will probably be pretty tough when they get older, if they survive.
 
  • #32
Kerrie
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Originally posted by amp

yea we are watching lotsa spongebob these days...
 

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  • #33
Mr. Robin Parsons
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Originally written by Kat

(parsed) I think irrelevant of Mr. P's. ranting (snip)

31/03/2003

So Kat, in this I have tried to point out the simplicity of the present reality of TV coverage inasmuch as it took less then 15 mins to present to me all of what you saw over the entire period of time that it took for you to see all of 9/11 on TV, while back in the late twenties, during the Stock Market crash it, took ~four (~4) DAYS for that news to reach Vancouver, British Colombia, Canada.

No longer anywhere near the present reality, and it is a short time, as there are people that are still alive today, who where alive then. This is the difference.

Next we address the need of the Children to know, they must find out, sooner or later, as what is going on now, is now, a part of their American History lessons. Who should it be that tells their children what they now must, and NEED, to know?

I attempted to point out that parental responsibility is irreplaceable, and that no teacher, in any school anywhere, (other then the parental teacher at home) Knows your child better then you, the child's primary caregiver, hence it is clear to me who it is that needs to explain to there children what is gong on, and when they get to know that.

Yes, the 'when' they get to know, is exceedingly difficult, because of the first paragraph.

In all of the observing I do, I have seen that the media, in Canada, are watching the media all over the world, (No doubt that Canadian journalists are not the only ones, but it's what I know of) the media watching the media. Part of the repost told of CNN's coverage of the Bombing of two different marketplaces, one in Baghdad, and the other in Kuwait.

Apparently they spent an inordinate amount of time covering the one in Kuwait, very little on the one in Baghdad, "Clean Hospital shots" (People who look like they might just have the flu) as opposed to the international press having run the clips of the man, from the Baghdad market, on a stretcher, being taken away, showing him with nothing but "bloody stumps" left, where his legs had been. While in the Kuwait Market place attack, apparently, no one was hurt.

Problem here Kat is called propaganda, Your President doesn't want all of you to see, just how bloody, what he is doing, really is. Problem for me Kat is that I am not anti-American, heck American society has taught me lots, so much so that, the problem is now that, I find that what your country is presently doing, tank and artillery siege of Baghdad, with overwhelming Air Superiority, (DOMINANCE) that the Iraq's in that city are completely defenseless against, and Blasting them in a rain of Bombs, is about the most Anti-American, clearly Un-American, thing that I could possible think of, as per what all of you, Americans, have taught me, about yourselves!

Is this a good rant Kat?
 
  • #34
kat
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Originally posted by Mr. Robin Parsons
31/03/2003

So Kat, in this I have tried to point out the simplicity of the present reality of TV coverage inasmuch as it took less then 15 mins to present to me all of what you saw over the entire period of time that it took for you to see all of 9/11 on TV, while back in the late twenties, during the Stock Market crash it, took ~four (~4) DAYS for that news to reach Vancouver, British Colombia, Canada.

No longer anywhere near the present reality, and it is a short time, as there are people that are still alive today, who where alive then. This is the difference.

Next we address the need of the Children to know, they must find out, sooner or later, as what is going on now, is now, a part of their American History lessons. Who should it be that tells their children what they now must, and NEED, to know?

I attempted to point out that parental responsibility is irreplaceable, and that no teacher, in any school anywhere, (other then the parental teacher at home) Knows your child better then you, the child's primary caregiver, hence it is clear to me who it is that needs to explain to there children what is gong on, and when they get to know that.

Yes, the 'when' they get to know, is exceedingly difficult, because of the first paragraph.I couldn't agree more, nor do I think I could have said it any better.

In all of the observing I do, I have seen that the media, in Canada, are watching the media all over the world, (No doubt that Canadian journalists are not the only ones, but it's what I know of) the media watching the media. Part of the repost told of CNN's coverage of the Bombing of two different marketplaces, one in Baghdad, and the other in Kuwait.I honestly avoid T.V. to the extent that I could not give a qualified opinion on what each channel is/is not reporting but I have noticed an incredible amount of comparitive reporting online. I'm glad to see it, however I'm skeptical of all of their motives and which view is objective and/or honest unbiased reporting.

Apparently they spent an inordinate amount of time covering the one in Kuwait, very little on the one in Baghdad, "Clean Hospital shots" (People who look like they might just have the flu) as opposed to the international press having run the clips of the man, from the Baghdad market, on a stretcher, being taken away, showing him with nothing but "bloody stumps" left, where his legs had been. While in the Kuwait Market place attack, apparently, no one was hurt.

Problem here Kat is called propaganda, Your President doesn't want all of you to see, just how bloody, what he is doing, really is. I have some mixed feelings here. I do believe that there is without doubt propaganda in the U.S. news..well in actuality all news. I do my best to compare reports in the media to the first hand news of people I know around the world. Sometimes it correlates at other times it appears as though they must be speaking of two different worlds. On the other hand, I also believe that U.S. news is effected by ratings and consumer influence, perhaps inordinately. I cannot imagine that there would not be outrage by americans if such graphic displays were put on national television. I would be outraged if anyone I knew where displayed for all the world to see in such a manner. Maybe, I'm mistaken but I do not think I'm the minority view in this matter in the U.S. So, because of this I don't think I can just blame my president. Even if I were to blame someone I would probably look above and beyond him, as I do not think it's the 4 term president that pulls the strings in corporate America. Problem for me Kat is that I am not anti-American, I'm really wanting for a better word then "anti-american" to describe what I see as a singular focus on the United States while totally ignoring equally negative actions of other countries or the ability to excuse other countries for whatever reasons and yet not grant the U.S. that same privelage. This is what I'm referring to when I say "anti-american". heck American society has taught me lots, so much so that, the problem is now that, I find that what your country is presently doing, tank and artillery siege of Baghdad, with overwhelming Air Superiority, (DOMINANCE) that the Iraq's in that city are completely defenseless against, and Blasting them in a rain of Bombs, is about the most Anti-American, clearly Un-American, thing that I could possible think of, as per what all of you, Americans, have taught me, about yourselves! I've stated before my mixed feelings about this war, so I won't get into it here. But, I probably would not use the term "rain" of bombs" to describe a very strong and comparitively (I know this term will make you angry but..) on target bombing campaign that is avoiding..(again..comparitively)...civilians. I'm not sure I would say it's un-american either....

Is this a good rant Kat? I think it was a thoughtful and well reasoned reply. I enjoyed this exchange. Thank you.
 
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  • #35
megashawn
Science Advisor
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Live coverage or the next season of Reality Tv?

I mean, its been slipping in under our noses for sometime now. It started with Real World. Then you get survivor, all the clones that follow. Then Court TV makes a dramatic comeback.

This special coverage shows a few things:

1) Technology has come a long ways since previous wars.
2) The day "Running Man" becomes a real show is coming closer.

It seems to me like people honestly enjoy watching. I remember 3/20, when the bombing started. I was walking out the door for work, when I heard what sounded like thunder coming from the TV. I watched and was litterally astonished by what I was seeing. Not the first time I've seen explosions. But the fact that it was live and unedited had me hooked. Then, as I'm watching, I here one of the female anchors describe the scene as "A spectacular display, much like fireworks." almost as if she was commenting of the beauty of the explosions. Since that comment, I've been sick with the coverage.

I cannot speak for how you should raise your child. I, just coming out of childhood, no completely the disadvantages of not being informed. While I've always none people die when we go to war, I was not prepared for the coverage. I know that when I do have children, they will know in full the consequences of war.

If you think about it, there is not much difference between full scale war and a fight between 2 people. One person/government does something that either offends or threatens the other person/goverment and when intelligence breaks down, the only thing left to do is fight. I remember being encouraged to fight other kids during school. I remember being punished for losing fights, rewarded for winning, so long as my reasons were justifable. This is not the way I should have been taught, and fortunatly, I realize this. Unfortunatly, I'm not the only one who was raised this way, including kids I've fought with. Also unfortunate, is that the majority of people do not realize this is a bad way to live ones life. Even religions support such behavior with comments like "Eye for an Eye".

Violence in the media is a bunch of garbage. While it makes me sick to my stomach to view this bs, you cannot blame violence in media, movies or games on the behavior of individuals. Honestly, if seeing disturbing images is enough to make one snap and go kill a bunch of people, there was something wrong long before he/she ever looked at the images. Be it from being raised in similar or worse fashion as described above, or possible mental illness of some sort. Basically what I am saying is you would have to be a moron to see something on TV that you know is wrong/stupid, and go out and try to emulate that act.

Which is why children should not be limited in there education. They should learn about the horrors of war, and even worse, the horrors of the dark streets of there own towns. There is so much corruption, dishonesty, and really, I hate to say it, but terrorism, going on in our own countrys, conducted by our own people, sometimes even ones who hold positions of authority, we really need to look within our own before we continue with any more foriegn conflicts.

They've turned War into Reality TV. Are you really suprised? How about the next survivor be called "Survivor: Bagdad".
 

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