Friday, September 30, 2005

RantingProfs is back in full swing

Her analysis of this Reuters "article" is simple. Is this a story or a press release? It is put out by their news division but it does not even make attempt to present more than one side of the story. The side they do present is their own side, admittedly. It is therefore, IMHO, a press release, and a poorly constructed one at that.

It also brings up an interesting point. Reuters is, rightly, trying to make the world safer for journalists and make sure that the armed forces don't detain them when they are caught supposedly doing their jobs. The military is trying to do whatever they need to do to get the job done at minimal risk to their men and, to a lesser but significant extent, the innocent civilians. These two things are, by their very nature, at odds with each other.

There is a middle ground but it is not a point on the line. It is arguably a pretty wide swath. We can all agree that we want the press to be able to do their jobs and give us independent coverage of the wars our military is fighting. We can all agree that we want the military to limit military and civilian casualties. Where do we want the line drawn on each of the conflicts that this presents? If a journalist is embedded with the enemy do we want our military guys to take greater risks to avoid shooting him while shooting the bad guys? How about if he is hanging out in a tree line behind the bad guys trying to covertly cover them?


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