Skip to comments.What the Media is Churning Out is Trash (Great Article)
Posted on 11/07/2001 5:39:18 PM PST by Shermy
What the media is churning out is trash
By Masood Anwar
CHAMAN BORDER, Quetta: Whatever most of the world media is reporting from this Pak-Afghan border town, close to the haunted bombing-practice ground of stones and caves, is mainly cooked up and rubbish, as the journalists themselves are hostages, to circumstances and strict security concerns.
The army of foreign correspondents, hanging out in the Serena Hotel in Quetta has no option but to drive down to Chaman daily, see Afghanistan from the rooftop of Pashin Scout's check-post, expose some pictures of Afghans through high-powered zoom lenses, and return to their base in Quetta for wet evenings and well-earned rests.
Just after lunch, these foreign correspondents pack into station wagons escorted by the Army and police commandos and proceeds to the border area. They cannot move out alone because they are pelted with stones by the locals and are under severe danger of being kidnapped if they take that risk. The Army provides them the cover and security.
Even in Quetta they remain mostly inside the hotel as moving out in the streets of Quetta without proper armed escorts is also dangerous. Thus all these big names of world's premiere media are clueless about what is happening inside Afghanistan or elsewhere. They have no independent source to verify whatever they hear from "sources" -- one wonders where these are located. Mostly they are fed by the local offices of Taliban and NGOs working inside Afghanistan.
After driving through the Afghan territory up to Kandahar and back, it was evident that the entire territory controlled by Taliban is behind an iron curtain and all the reports about casualties and the damage caused by bombings are just estimates of newsmen sitting in Quetta and may be other cities close to other sides of the border. All kinds of vested interests plant their own versions on these "news hungry" hacks who have to justify their existence.
During my week's stay inside Afghanistan, I found there was no way to ascertain instantly the real damages or casualties as there is neither any communication system working inside the country nor any such coordination system exists among Taliban to instantly inform their headquarter in Kandahar or Kabul about the results of bombardment.
On the last day when I was crossing Chaman border for Quetta to file my story to my office, a local newsman intercepted me and asked me from where I was coming from. "Kandahar," I replied. He then said he had heard the news from his "sources" that the Taliban leader Mulla Omar, had visited Kandahar city, met locals and addressed them in a garden. I said, I had no clue but asked him where did he get the news. With a little persuasion he conceded that a worker in a NGO vehicle, which just passed ahead of me, had broken "this news". Soon it was to be sold to all the big guys waiting in Serena so that they could rush to their laptops or cell phones and file a big story.
One reason why many of these big journalists cannot get first-hand news is the behaviour of the Taliban consulate in Quetta. They treat journalists seeking visas for Afghanistan in a very hostile way, treating all of them as US spies.
Even teams taken to Kandahar, sponsored and conducted by the Taliban, came out with very little independent facts. This team was not allowed to move independently and was always escorted by the Taliban. They had no way to the "other side" of the story except what Taliban wanted to tell them or show them.
Common Afghans feel scared to talk to the people with white skins, especially when Taliban guards are around. Therefore, this officially invited team failed to take the real picture of the Afghans during the war. Their movement was totally dependent on the Taliban and working was limited to Taliban's briefings and filming of hospitals and sites affected with the US bombardment.
Inside Afghanistan, if you are found using a camera or a satellite phone, it is enough to prove that you are a spy. The minimum punishment for a spy is indefinite imprisonment and the maximum is instant execution. There is rule of the jungle in force and no one is available to rescue a person imprisoned on charges of spying.
After having faced years of strife, falling of bombs and missiles is a routine matter for common Afghans. There is no fear or harassment. Besides, for many, bombs, whether intact or after explosions, are the only source of livelihood. When the missiles were hitting the suburbs of Kandahar and smokes emitted with a heavy sound, locals started fighting with each other to get the shell of missiles and bombs. Sale of scrap is the only way there to earn some money. A ton of scrap sells for Rs 125 - as the rupee is a valid currency -- and a truck load of debris, scattered when mountains are torn apart by US bombs, sells for Rs 1,300. It is big business for some in times of bad wars.
This website doesn't have separate "links" to separate articles. Can anyone explain?
And can anyone tell me how to get this to as many media people as possible? I'm sure many, especially radio guys, would like to report it, especially since it's from a Pakistani source. Anyone have e-mail lists? Please publish.
Now there's a standard truism if I ever heard one.
And yeah, it is a d*%n good article.
I think you are overpaying for the value received.
I kept waiting for the REAL story...
Are you telling me the solution to our media problem is as simple as destroying the Taliban consulate? This must be done at once!
and they constantly complain about 'too much land fill'!!
And to think, propaganda wars work because of these guys.
And what would they do with the information, dis their own "news"? I can see some of the radio talk shows having some interest, but I think that's pretty much preaching to the choir.
The MEDIA RESEARCH CENTER is usually interested in anything that will discredit the Propaganda Ministry. You might send them a copy of the article.
For a list of the major(lamestream) media outlets, you might try our very own Media Bias Chapter's CCRM Rolodex.
The site uses frames; this is the relevant code in the outermost window:
The various 0's cause the frames to be invisible, so you don't realize they're there. The text you want lies within the inner frame
<frameset border="0" frameborder="0" rows="100%,0">
Let's replace Dan Blather with Masood Anwar.
But from the same web site I saw this:
By Muhammad Abdul Qudoos
DUBAI: Pakistan is one of the four potential customers of the new F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, according to analysis by the US experts made available at the current Dubai 2001 air-show.
The development of the F-35 JSF was awarded to Lockheed Martin on October 26. The three other potential customers of the aircraft are Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Turkey. The UAE would be far down the list of buyers due to its commitment to help develop the Block 60 F-16, which will likely be in service for at least 40 years.
Lockheed Martin beat Boeing in the competition to develop the fourth generation JSF, which will be sold for about the same price as an F-16. Lockheed plans to keep both F-35 and F-16 in production.
The US and export markets are expected to create demand for 3,000 aircraft worth some $200 billion over the life of the programme. Raymond Jawaroski of Forecast International/DMS in Connecticut was quoted as saying in the analysis that anyone who flies F-16s, or even F-5s, has to be considered a potential customer of F-35 because it has essentially the same type of mission profile.
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The real story is pretty clear: No one outside the Taliban iron curtain knows the real story, so people are making up whatever stories suit their own agendas and the newsies are reporting it because they have to report something.
That's pretty much what I say, everytime I see her sorry ass on TV ....
Oh , really?