Infotainment

Writing in The Long Term View, a publication of the Massachusetts School of Law Michelle Pulaski, professor of communications art at Pace University, Pleasantville, N.Y. drums out the now standard – “The media didn’t do its job in the run up to the Iraq war” – line. She describes the nightvision footage as having a “video game feel” and news reporting as “infotainment”. She brands the Pentagon as “a true propaganda machine” during the Iraq War, “feeding the news media stories with a spin.”

“Foreign news bureaus showed far more blood and gore than American stations showed. The foreign media were delivering audiences the true face of the war…” BBC Television and American stations coverage of the same events was often starkly different. For example, when on April 7, 2003, a “friendly fire” incident took place, BBC broadcast live from the scene with a detailed report of the horror, including the blood-stained road, mangled vehicles, and reported the number of U.S. casualties. By contrast, Pulaski said, several hours later CNN only mentioned the “friendly fire” incident and gave no word on the number of casualties.
Pulaski went on to criticize the use of “embedded” reporters, many “with flags on their lapels and stars and stripes waving in the background.” This loss of objectivity was compounded as reporters were “heavily censored” by the government. Many front-line reports were “heavily scripted” and subject to approval of field commanders before they could even be covered. link

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