Media coverage of the Syrian conflict: heroism and revisionism.

Posted: 08 Mar 2012   Print   Send a link
CNN Press Room, 5 Mar 2012: "Homs, Syria – considered one of the most dangerous places CNN has ever covered – is at the heart of a one-hour special documenting the challenges and dangers faced by a CNN team while on assignment there. As told by the journalists who risked their lives to get into Homs and the CNN news executives tasked with keeping them safe, 72 Hours Under Fire gives viewers an inside look at the complexities and risks involved in getting the story out of Syria. 72 Hours Under Fire airs Sunday, March 11 at 8 p.m. and 11 p.m., and Saturday, March 17 at 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. Eastern and Pacific on CNN/US. It premieres on CNN International Friday, March 9 at 3 p.m., and replays Saturday, March 10 at 4 a.m., 3 p.m., and 9 p.m., and Sunday, March 11 at 6 a.m., all times Eastern. 'Homs is as challenging an editorial operation as we have encountered,' says Tony Maddox, executive vice president and managing director of CNN International. ... 'We are taking the unusual step of covering our journalists’ experience in Homs because it is another piece of the untold story in Syria,' says Mark Whitaker, executive vice president and managing editor of CNN Worldwide. 'The fact that the Syrian government doesn’t want the world to know what is happening in places like Homs, and the enormous effort and courage it has taken for Western journalists to cover the brutal crackdown there, is part of the story. We thought it was important to take our viewers behind the scenes to see and feel that part of this conflict, too.'" -- UTC times (which should have been provided) for CNNI are 9 Mar: 0800 and 1900 and 10 Mar: 0100 and 1000.

Now Lebanon, 6 Mar 2012: "Syrian Ambassador to Lebanon Ali Abdel Karim Ali said ... that the reports concerning the activities of Syrian security forces 'should not be taken [directly] from satellite channels known for their instrumental role in fabricating information encouraging aggression against Syria,' in an implicit reference to the pan-Arab stations Al-Jazeera and Al-Arabiya."

Syrian Arab News Agency, 7 Mar 2012: "Upset with its provocation and bias, Aljazeera correspondent in Beirut Ali Hashem has resigned his position from the Qatari channel, according to the Lebanese Newspaper of al-Akhbar. ... The Syrian e-Army leaked correspondence between Hashem and Ibrahim, a news reader in the Qatari channel, via e-mail where the latter said that she 'recanted the revolution' describing it as a branch of Qaeda and it would destroy the country. Hashem was, as many colleagues of his, upset with the flagrant bias of the channel in dealing with the Syrian file, said the source, stressing that Aljazeera handled the correspondence leak smartly by neglecting the whole issue in order not to promote for it due to its weak stance."

Counterpunch, 5 Mar 2012, Peter Lee: "The main event, or what should be the main event, for Western observers of Syria is the messy implosion of Al Jazeera’s credibility."

Voice of Russia, 7 Mar 2012, Aisling Byrne, projects coordinator with the Conflicts Forum, as interviewed bt Yekaterina Kudashkina: "[A]ctually there are a lot of fabricated videos, fabricated YouTube clips and different people have been cataloging this. There are pictures on YouTube and videos being made waiting for CNN or BBC, or Aljazeera to call. And one clip shows a child done up in bandages, and the child is being told what to say when the camera starts rolling, and then a mobile phone is used as if to show that this is being done in the field whereas actually it’s been done in a quiet department center. ... But then on the other side there are other publications, websites, television channels which actually show both sides of the story. And for example I can give an example from Russia Today, where they interviewed residents of Homs who said that actually most of the people in Homs don’t side with either the Government or the rebels and they just want to be left alone, and they’ve said that the violence lies on both sides – with the Government and the rebel fighters."

Wall Street Journal, Corruption Current blog, 5 Mar 2012, Samuel Rubenfeld: "The U.S. Treasury Department said Monday it identified the Syrian General Organization of Radio and TV as subject to sanctions imposed on the country’s government. The organization is a state-run agency subordinate to the information ministry; it operates Syria’s state-owned TV channels and the government’s radio stations, Treasury said in a statement. It was identified as being subject to sanctions imposed on entities of the Syrian government, regardless of whether they’re specifically identified by Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control. ... 'The General Organization of Radio and TV has served as an arm of the Syrian regime as it mounts increasingly barbaric attacks on its own population and seeks both to mask and legitimize its violence,”'said Adam Szubin, director of OFAC, in the statement."