An article in the National Journal by Neil Munro, explores the difficulties in covering war through the use of ‘stringers'(locals filling in for experienced journalists and photographers). Munro had received comments from a number of US photo editors that “they do indeed worry about the reliability of images distributed by photo agencies, even the most respected ones. But they also said they want and need to trust the agencies and distributors, which include AFP, the Associated Press, Reuters, and Getty Images.”
In a post by Michelle Malkin, titled Is The AP Staging News?, a disturbing situation is uncovered which would (and should) be a news editor’s worst nightmare. A stringer guilty making up the news for the international media. AP stringer Bilal Hussein, a member of the AP team that won the Pulitzer prize for the photo of an Iraqi execution on Haifa street in broad daylight, (see here), is under deep suspicion of working for the ‘insurgency’. Being complicit in the staging of photo ops at the behest of the terrorists who are spreading fear and mayhem through out the Baghdad region.
This is of course not anything new, the Palestinians have used the same methods for years and with amazing results. Looking at the picture of the “oppressed” Palestinian woman leaning against the Israeli security barrier, one would be ‘hard pressed’ to deny that it wasn’t a staged photo-op. This type of false imagery propaganda is used all of the time by the international media, and its of keen interest to me that it comes as a surprise to many of those who are now closely following how the US military is being reported in the news. Anyone who follows the Israeli/Arab war shouldn’t be surprised at all, finding many similarities in the reporting of both conflicts. The collusion between the media stringers and the supposed “under dog” forces that are arrayed against the US in both Iraq and Afghanistan.
After one watches the short videos from the folks at The Second Draft, you begin to understand that in the ME, fact and fiction are constantly being blurred. KGS