Wednesday, 20 October 2010

War on TV

At The Afghanistan Conflict Monitor, a new survey: 60 Pct. of Britons Oppose UK Military Mission in Afghanistan.

In The Independent, Ian Burrell writes on a survey of TV coverage of Afghanistan:
The survey by the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP), in partnership with American analysts Media Tenor, examines the coverage of 37 international news programmes and names News at Ten – alongside Fox Special Report, CBS Evening News and ABC World News – as an outlet that devoted more than 50 per cent of its coverage of world news to stories about violence.

Steve Killelea, founder of the IEP, says such an approach is not helpful to the process of rebuilding countries such as Afghanistan and Iraq. "When too much media attention is placed on violence, 'security' is seen as the only way for establishing peace; this runs contrary to current study and analysis of what creates peace." The report claimed that the channel Al-Jazeera English provided a more balanced picture of events in Afghanistan than either the BBC or CNN.

It found that Al-Jazeera reported three times more positive stories on that country than the BBC, and eight times more than the American network.
(Thanks to RB.)

I usually find BBC Radio 4 a less sensationalist source of reporting than TV news, but have a listen to this recent File on 4 report on training the Afghan police, and compare its focus on a small number of cases of Afghan security force members killing ISAF troops with the very large number of Afghan police and military who have died fighting the Taliban. There is a story here that is not getting through.

The video below gives another view of training the ANP, via the Helmand Blog.

ADDED: For a view of Afghanistan as more than the name of a war, Francis Sedgemore recommends visiting Canada House (Trafalgar Square, London) to see their current photography exhibitions of Kandahar through Afghan eyes, and Unsung Heroes of Afghanistan.

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