Sunday 4 November 2007

CBS and Fox News clips

Lisa sent an email with links she found relating to the research we're doing.

Fox News - New Cold War
Reuters - Bush visit to Prague
CBS - Cold War/Arms Race
CNN - Putin in Iran
Jazeera International - Caspian Sea Summit
Jazeera International - Inside Story / Putin's Iran visit

As we are still not sure whether to include Iran or not I only took a look at the ones not involving Iran.

CBS Evening News 13/10/07
During a visit to Moscow defence secretary Robert Gates failed to appease Russia’s opposition to planned US missile sites in Poland and the Czech Republic. Meanwhile Russian war planes have resumed a practice of the past and once again are testing the outer limits of US airspace. David Martin has more

David Martin (over b/w footage of bombers):
These pictures of Russian bombers off the coast of Alaska were not pulled from the archives of the cold war, they were taken last month by American pilots trying to intercept them

Gen. Eugene Renuart (in vision):
And they’ve been flying periodically since then with a bit good of activity over the last few weeks.

David Martin (oov):
The prospect of a Russian attack may seem farfetched but General Eugene Renuart, who is responsible for defending the US says that in a world where every airplane is a potential threat he has to scramble jets, air borne radars and refuelling tankers.

David Martin (in vision):
No one thinks the bombers signal a return to the cold war but Russia feels it’s been treated like a second rate power. And relations are starting to get a bit chilly.

Total length (02:12)

Even though the reporter acknowledges the fact that the prospect of an attack is farfetched the report still can't resist referencing the cold war.


Fox News (check progrmme)
Posted on 03/06/2007 – is probably not the day of broadcast

Presenter (OOV):
Russia’s making some new threats… ready for this…. About pointing nuclear weapons at Europe. What is going on here? Is Vladimir Putin just having a bad week or are we standing at the possibility of the brink of a new cold war.

I had not noticed this before but Fox broadcast writers are either really good or it is just an accident. But the presenter pauses at “possibility” then you hear the whoosh of the missile taking off then he says “brink of …….” looks and sounds very dramatic
Presenter (OOV):
Well that was a test earlier this week of Russia’s newest missile. Russian president Validmir Putin criticising the United States he says plans to install a missile defence system in Europe will increase the chances of a nuclear conflict.
Washington wants to prevent attacks from rogue states like Iran but Russian sees that a threat to its own security.

Joining us now is Fox News foreign affairs analyst ambassador Dennis Ross

Now notice the questions
What is so disturbing about what Putin says is that he may target European capitals with nuclear weapons if the US continues with the missile shield programme. Are we on the abyss now of a potential new cold war?

Dennis Ross:
I think that we are certainly at a point where the relationship is about to change…. I would not exaggerate how bad this relationship will become because I still think the Russian capability is to restablish what we used to see in the cold war is very different.

What is interesting here is that despite the sort of non alarmist answer from their foreign correspondent what we see on the screen is a picture of a missile launch with various little funfacts about how many warheads it can carry etc
You know we want to protect Europe from Iran and this specifically deals with Poland and the Czech Republic.. but what happens if we continue to go ahead with this as we are on this missile shield and Putin puts the codes in their that aims those missiles back at London and Paris?

Dennis Ross:
Well then we will obviously be in an environment that is a whole lot worse than it’s been. You know the fact is we don’t really know if the Russians ever really changed all the targeting of their weapons

(says something to the effect that they have a weaker army than before)…
What they are doing now is they are showing the symbols of power and that’s why you see new missile development.

Total length 4:20

It really is the first question again but the presenter seems to be fishing for a more alarmist answer while his correspondent is really very level headed about it.


The two clips, if we are going to use them, can be very easily linked back to Susan Moeller’s Four Habits. Here’s a quick run down of how we could do it. I am lifting relevant paragraph’s straight out of Moeller’s text.

1. Formulaic coverage
Americans like to see the world in terms of good guys and bad guys. Identifying one side in a conflict as the men in white hats allows the public to root for them and encourages the public to care about their victory or success. “That’s what a lot of news is about,” said reporter Malcolm Browne of The New York Times. “We love to see everything in terms of black and white, right and wrong, truths versus lies.” By power of suggestion, the media so fix a conception in our minds that we cannot disentangle the stereotyped characterization of a group or person from the facts.
It’s not the news itself that dictates the shape of coverage; past accounts of comparable events are a better predictor of the level and tenor of reporting.

The story is told in the language of a morality play, with good and evil fighting for ascendancy, and characters fit into the parts of victim, rescuer and villain.(think of the Fox News presenter’s “but we are only trying to protect lovely Paris from evil Iran”)

2. Sensationalized Language
It takes more and more dramatic coverage to elicit the same level of sympathy as the last catastrophe. What is strong today may be weak tomorrow. Yet sensationalized treatment of crises makes Americans feel that only the most extreme situations merit attention.
(this links with Jonathan’s Peace Reporting word list)

Sunday 28 October 2007

Czech Media

Got lucky with a search through Czech newspaper websites. Can't even remember how this started, I was looking initially at Iranian newspapers. Anyway, I put a couple of the links online for you guys to look at. Again, just a series of links for us to decide whether it is worth pursuing or not.

13.02.2007 18:40 UTC] Daniela Lazarova

Transcript of a news bulletin
Protest against US radar base outside government headquarters
Around 200 opponents of a US radar base in the Czech Republic held a protest outside the Office of the Government on Tuesday. They unfurled banners and erected tents, saying they were setting up a peaceful anti-radar base. The protesters said their main goal was to convince Czech politicians to let the public decide the matter freely in a national referendum. The radar base would be part of a US missile defense system located jointly in the Czech Republic and Poland.

This story was the second item on the bulletin.

This lead to the following links...

Czech supporters of U.S. radar present new initiative
March 06, 2007 | čtk

Prague - Supporters of the stationing of a U.S. radar defence base in the Czech Republic presented on Monday a new civic initiative called Pro that is preparing a public rally in support of the U.S. plans to be held in Prague centre on March 12, the organisers have announced.

Among the initiative followers are Ladislav Špaček, one of the former spokesmen for Czech president Václav Havel (in office 1989-February 2003), and artist David Černý.

Havel has repeatedly supported the building of a U.S. defence base in the Czech Republic.

Prague Post
Mayors' group combats radar; Association denounces talks on proposed base with state official

By Markéta Hulpachová
Staff Writer, The Prague Post
August 29th, 2007
Protests against the planned U.S. radar base in the Czech Republic have unified the mayors of small towns in the Brdy region.
The Defense Ministry currently intends to construct the radar base on the Brdy military base near Míšov, west Bohemia, about 90 kilometers (56 miles) southwest of Prague.

Markéta Hulpachová can be reached at
The Prague Post has a very good site and a good search engine so if we decide to look at Czech reporting it might be helpful.

The following isn't from a news website but from something calling itself the Czech Republic's "official website". If it is then the report would probably be from CTK - Czeck News Agency which is a rubbish website. But it is probably a very early mention of the intent to open a US radar base in the Czech Republic. I think this report also mentions that about 200 jobs will be created by the base.

USA asks to station its radar system in Czech Jince
January 25, 2007 |

Prague - The U.S. government today addressed an official note to the Czech cabinet, asking to station its missile defence radar system in the military training grounds Jince in Central Bohemia, Prime Minister Mirek Topolánek (Civic Democrats, ODS) told.

Friday 26 October 2007

Conflict Specialism Lecture - 26/10/07

I got the Tamil Tigers thingymajig wrong again! He said we will.
T still can’t find any reference to Michael Williams on Google! How can you be working in journalism for so long and leave no Google trail, now that is one trick I need to learn. To be ungooglable!

Notes from the news quiz quickie
- Article 33 from the Geneva Convention.
Collective punishment is illegal. Need to know as Ehud Barak is thinking of pulling the plug on Gaza. That’s collective punishment. Instead of dealing with Hamas only you punish the whole population.

One Iraqi and one Canadian were kidnapped in Darfur this week. The nation targeted was actually China. In question is who the Chinese government is supporting? How much it is investing in Africa? And in what?

- Jaap de Hoop Scheffer
Sec. Gen. of NATO

- And again, got the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elan wrong!

Lecture Notes

- War Crimes
- is it the role of the journalist to flag up war crimes? Or are you moving into advocacy journalism territory?
Probably yes you should BUT you need to be able to identify correctly war crimes according to the Geneva Convention.

Mikes tin box
- bath pulg
- door stop.. to keep doors closed!
- tampons… used to plug bullet entry wounds! You’re hoping not to need more than the extra small sized ones.
- How are you storing your information? Do you need to protect your contacts? Thinks of where and how you are storing all this as your computer might be searched and your papers confiscated.

Due first class after Christmas break

- Find somebody who has had to live through a conflict situation. NOT JOURNO
- Write a story about the person
- 1200 plus words
- for next time have NAME and some INFO.
Note to self: email mike

Thursday 25 October 2007


Not having followed the news on this I needed to roughly find out what was going on.
This is a rough timeline of events based on a LexisNexis search. Search included NY Times, Washington Post and USA Today only. You can find the two PDFs which include all the articles searched here:
- Search terms (NATO/missile defense system) - 20 articles
- Search terms (Putin/United States/Czech Republic/G8/missile defense system) - 14 articles
*the PDF's are hosted on MediaFire.. the link will take you to another website and just follow the instructions...

Here's the timeline, it follows the date the article was published which is usually one day after the event. All articles sited are in one of the two PDFs linked above


-20 Jan 2007
First mention I could find of the US announcing plan for base. Both CTV and WP use the same AP story.
Russia warns U.S. over Czech missile defence base
PM: U.S. Wants Base in Czech Republic

- 9 Feb 2007
NY Times
Russian Criticizes U.S. Plan For Missile Defence System

NATO foreign ministers session

Russia's defense minister chose a NATO session for a pre-emptive verbal assault on American plans to base elements of a missile defense system in Eastern Europe.

Sergei B. Ivanov, argued that North Korea cannot strike NATO territory in Europe with its current ballistic missiles, Mr. Ivanov said, adding that ''any school globe or map'' showed that Europe would not be under the flight path of any missile from North Korea toward the United States, either.
Mr. Ivanov also said that for Iranian missiles to strike in NATO territory or to hit the United States would require extensive industrial reorganization of Tehran's missile program.

- 11 Feb 2007
NY Times
Putin Says U.S. Is Undermining Global Stability

43rd Munich Conference on Security Policy

President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia accused the United States on Saturday of provoking a new nuclear arms race by developing ballistic missile defenses, undermining international institutions and making the Middle East more unstable through its clumsy handling of the Iraq war.

Mr. Putin said. ''We have the right to ask, 'Against whom is this expansion directed?'

Fun article with western leaders bashing each other on the head and having a jolly good time while doing it!

- 17 Feb 2007
World Briefing Euorpe
NY Times

Gen. Yuri N. Baluyevsky, the chief of the Russian military's general staff, said that if the United States went through with the system, Russia might drop out of the intermediate-range nuclear forces treaty of 1987.

- 2 March 2007
World Briefing
NY Times / AP

Lt. Gen. Henry A. Obering III, the director of the United States Missile Defense Agency, said Washington wanted to base antimissile radar in the Caucasus.

- 6 March 2007
U.S. Moves to Soothe Growing Russian Resentment
NY Times

The article is about some sort of an initiative by the Bush administration to “engage” the Russians more.
Things like:
Senior administration officials said the initiative would also involve a more intensive dialogue between the Russian and American militaries, a forum that might lend itself to fuller technical exchanges about Washington's plans for missile defense.

Forums and “intensive dialogue”… Yay!

The most interesting quote for me is:
''We weren't paying attention. We were distracted, busy, with other problems in the world, in particular Iraq,'' said Michael A. McFaul, a professor at Stanford University who is a Russia scholar. ''The administration is now put in a position of playing defense, as we are finally seeing the international consequences of the rather dramatic internal transformation inside Russia with the erosion of democracy, a new ruling class, a massive transfer of property rights from so-called oligarchs to, basically, friends of Putin, most of whom are from the old K.G.B.''

So not only is there a nuclear crisis but an “erosion of democracy”!
Fun quote:
Ms. Rice and Mr. Lavrov have a peppery relationship.

What is that supposed to mean?

- 20 April 2007
World in Brief

The meeting of NATO and Russian officials was part of a U.S. bid to soothe European concerns and Russian anger at the plan to deploy 10 interceptors in Poland and radar in the Czech Republic by 2012 to preempt threats from states such as Iran.

- 21 April 2007
NY Times

More carrot for Russia:
The Bush administration is offering Russia a new package of incentives to drop its strong opposition to American missile defense sites in Poland and the Czech Republic, including an invitation to begin linking some American and Russian antimissile systems, according to senior administration and military officials.

The German government, in particular, has urged the administration to pull together the exact sort of initiative on missile defense cooperation and transparency that will be presented to Russia. The administration has also heard complaints from other allies, including France, that it must do better at managing the relationship with Russia if the United States wants allied support for the missile defense effort, American officials said.

American officials concede that part of the Russian motivation to block American missile defense is a fear that the United States, over time, might develop a bold, new ''breakout'' technology that could some day neuter the Russian strategic arsenal.

- 27 April 2007
Russia to Suspend Compliance With Key European Pact; Putin Cites U.S. Missile Defense Plans.
BYLINE: Peter Finn; Washington Post Foreign Service.

President Vladimir Putin said Thursday that he was suspending Russia's obligations under the Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty, ratcheting up a tense standoff with the NATO alliance over U.S. plans to build a missile defense system in Eastern Europe.

So in the words of the lovely Ms Beyoncé Knowles… Ring the Alarm!
Western governments have contended for years that Russia has not fully complied with the treaty and amendments to it, pointing to force levels it keeps in the Chechnya region and the continuing presence of its troops in the former Soviet republics of Georgia and Moldova.

The announcement on the CFE Treaty move appeared to take NATO officials, who are gathering in Oslo for a meeting with their Russian counterparts, by surprise.

On the same day in the NY Times

BYLINE: By C. J. CHIVERS and MARK LANDLER; C. J. Chivers reported from Moscow, and Mark Landlerfrom Oslo.

Mr. Putin suggested that Russia would use its future compliance with the treaty as a bargaining point in that disagreement with the United States.

On Monday, Mr. Putin's defense minister, Anatoly E. Serdyukov, rejected an offer from the visiting American defense secretary, Robert M. Gates, to share antimissile technology, which had been intended as a way to assuage Moscow's opposition to Washington's missile defense plan.

Carrot not tasty enough then….

Bush sings Blame It On Iran
The Russian president's remarks coincided with the latest effort by the Bush administration to promote its missile defense system, which it says is necessary to protect Europe if diplomacy fails to deter Iran from developing nuclear weapons. The system would take at least several years to install and be put into operation, American officials say, and the project would be running on a parallel clock against Iran's suspected weapons program.

Aside from the military issues, Mr. Putin chided the West for what he called meddling in Russia's domestic affairs in the guise of democracy promotion efforts.

- 10 May 2007
House Panel Considering Cuts In Budget for Missile Defense

…. critics ask: With the system still unproven and, under the best of circumstances, years from completion, why rush construction now?

The bill, still under consideration late Wednesday, would cut $160 million from construction in Poland, as part of $764 million in cuts from the $8.9 billion the administration has sought for the Pentagon's Missile Defense Agency in 2008. A cut of $160 million would prevent breaking ground on the interceptor silos in Poland, while leaving funds to move forward with buying the 10 interceptor missiles and installing the radar for the Czech Republic, Congressional officials say.

the administration says the United States must begin pouring concrete soon to have the European system operating by 2012 -- to counter an Iranian long range missile ability that American intelligence warns will be reached between 2010 and 2015.

Apparently this whole crisis is Iran’s fault
''The fact is alliance security should be indivisible,'' Daniel Fried, the assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs,added. ''And if Europe is vulnerable to Iranian missiles, that means we're insecure as well.''

''It doesn't matter that the deployment poses no plausible physical threat to Russia's deterrent, because Moscow fears it might serve as a toehold that could be expanded and upgraded in the future,'' said Wade Boese, research director for the Arms Control Association, a research and advocacy group here. ''The administration should be careful that its response to a projected or hypothetical threat does not create a much bigger problem with Russia.'

- 15 June 2007
U.S. to Keep Europe as Site For Deterrent To Missiles

US stamps it foot down
Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates made clear Thursday that the United States would not alter plans to deploy parts of a missile defense system in Poland and the Czech Republic…

And then springs a surprise on Russia
In an unexpected development sure to be scrutinized by the Kremlin, Mr. Gates indicated an interest in pushing cooperation on missile defenses even further into the former Soviet hemisphere of Eastern Europe by raising the prospect of future discussions with Ukraine.
Ukraine is not a NATO member, but is part of an alliance dialogue, the NATO-Ukraine Commission. Mr. Gates said that on Thursday he ''indicated a willingness to share information, data with Ukraine'' on the missile defense efforts in Poland and the Czech Republic.

Russian officials have complained that the proposed system is a Trojan horse designed to counter Moscow's strategic rocket forces.

- 15 July 2007
Russia Halts Participation In Arms Pact For Europe; Suspension Seen as Response To U.S. Missile Defense Plan
BYLINE: Peter Finn; Washington Post Foreign Service

Russia formally halts its obligations to the CFE - Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty
Russia can now move more tanks and other heavy weapons to its western borders, and officials in Poland, Estonia and other neighboring countries quickly said they deplored the suspension.
But political and military analysts said major redeployments are unlikely. The suspension, they said, was both a symbolic expression of Russian anger over missile defense and a demonstration that the country has returned as an assertive power that must be reckoned with.

Relations between the United States and Russia continue to slide despite a recent attempt at mitigating the tension when President Bush invited President Vladimir Putin to the summer home of Bush's parents in Kennebunkport, Maine.

Cute, a family dinner to discuss your nuclear arsenal!
Bush said that when he talks to Putin this week, his message will be "Vladimir -- I call him Vladimir -- you shouldn't fear a missile-defense system. As a matter of fact, why don't you cooperate with us on a missile-defense system?
From Bush: 'Russia is not our enemy'; President talks of missile defense and democracy USA TODAY June 6, 2007 Wednesday

There is a widespread view here that the United States, which has consistently criticized the pace of Russia's democratic development under Putin, wants to undermine the country's newfound self-confidence in its status as a booming energy superpower. Putin's decision is likely to be viewed not just as a snub of the West, but as further proof that the Russian president has restored the country's ability to assert its independence.

Worth a check. Putin as national hero restoring old glory.
"Russia can't just twiddle its thumbs when it sees the Americans taking root in the Baltic and Caucasus countries and strengthening their positions in East European countries," Gennady Zyuganov, the leader of the Communist Party, told the Russian news agency Interfax. "When NATO's steam engine is directed toward us, we simply must respond."

Thursday 18 October 2007

International News Lecture - 18/10/07

Guest speaker: Phillip Knightly
Books: The First Casualty

- Team Journalism
Phillip was part of the Inside team at the Sunday Times.
Is team journalism safer?
Would less journos be killed if they worked in a team?

- What are the factors that make war reporting impossible?

- The conflict between the military and journalists. One wants to win a war and the other wants to tell what has happened, the last thing war generals want the public to know.
- From the early days of war reporting the tension between what was happening and what was allowed to be published existed.

- On wars of “national survival” it has been much easier to control the British media and force a government line.
- Journalism used to boost public morale. WW2, number of planes downed would be inflated and a jovial tone might be put into official releases.

- On wars fought elsewhere, eg Africa. War was seen as an adventure story. Lots of colour and drama with journos putting themselves as a central character in their reporting. Very bloodthirsty accounts were published, journos going into the action. All this worked as long as the ones who fought were not English.

- Changed the way wars were reported
- US thought of this in the beginning as a “public relations” war. Not enough was being done to stop Communism abroad so a very visible war was fought. Knightley says that even the choice of the country was because communication lines there were much better than elsewhere.
- Press played along at the beginning but the longer it went the more things went wrong and the press started reporting back ugly face of war.
- This was the start of the distrust between Military and Press. An American military committee (???) came back with a report suggesting that war was not winnable with cameras on the field. Vietnam was lost on the press front first
- committee put together “ How to manage the media in war time” guide handbook/manual. Has been used ever since.
Fighting dirty
Phillip Knightley changed our view of war and the media with his book The First Casualty. To mark its updating, he argues that the war correspondent has an easy choice: either become part of the military's propaganda machine - or quit. [The Guardian, Thursday March 30, 2000]

- What made the difference during the most recent US wars was the arrival of different TV stations bringing a new dimension to war reporting.

- “while the US wanted to show us shock and awe, al-jazeera showed us the shocked and the awed”.

- War reporting by non local journalists always gives new insights. There is no need for patriotic considerations. Brings in insight and perspective.
- neutrality is impossible. Journalists are humans, they bring with them their cultural baggage and their nationalities. All you can hope is that a journalist shows some sort of fairness.

Journalistic concepts to consider:

- Peace Journalism (vs. war reporting).
Reporting on the cause of conflict vs reporting only after conflict takes place.

- Journalist Engage. A journalism of engagement.

*Check: "How to manage the media in war time"
according to Knightley this is a manual issued by the US military on media operations after the Vietnam war and has been updated and used for all conflicts consequently.

Journalism and Society Lecture - 18/10/07

Ethics as applied to the Media

- Democracy and Journalism
The link is very important.
The practice of ethical journalism can be a democratizing tool.

Journalism <---> Politics <---> Freedom
All are interdependent and linked. They cannot exist independently.

Journalism’s existence and role has always been questioned. What is it for? Who is it serving? These questions have always been asked

Technology. Effects how we read and what we read. From the invention of the press to today’s electronic revolution. Today we talk of instantaneous journalism (internet) vs. delayed journalism (newspapers)

There are two types of news
News to Use – news as a public service and information.
News to Amuse – news as entertainment

- Entertainment in journalism is not a new invention. It has always been there and the papers of the past have many examples of what we call tabloid journalism today

- it took until the 19th century for journalism to be seen as an activity independent of state control and as a serious activity.

Tickle The Public – on tabloid journalism

- information vs. entertainment
pubic interest vs interest in the public. These are issues which have always been points of conflict

What is journalism for?
-The simple answer is to provide information to the public
What’s is being done to the people? For them? About them?
- It is there to empower the people
- It is educating
And importantly helps us make responsible choices as citizens

This is what Greenslade calls Pure Journalism / Ought Journalism as opposed to Impure Journlaism / Is Journalism

“Ought Journalism” is about
- History
recounting and keeping of records of our times

- Geography
to map boundaries and provide maps for the mind

- Biography
talk about the characters which effect our lives and events around us

- Anthropology

The Elements of Journalism, Kovatch and Rosenstiel

- ideally the press should be free and self governing
- journalism should enable us to think
- it is a transmission of intelligence

Role of the Net
- technology allows us to be more democratic in how we pass information on.
- allows immediacy of conversation and passing of messages easily

But How do we do journalism?
Do we just pass on information? Facts? Truth?

And a very pertinent question is how do we perform a public service on behalf of democracy and still work in an environment which is based in profit and money making?

What is our place in society as journalists?
Can we describe what we do? How do we fit in?
Is it a trade? A profession?
Ultimately we are trying to be eyewitnesses to history and give our accounts of what we have seen truthfully

Society for all sorts of reasons has developed a hostility towards “Is Journalism”. The journalism which is interested in the public instead of providing news of public interest. It is the more prevalent journalism.

This brings us to the current crisis in Journalism. How much is this trent towards “is journalism” the journalists’ fault and how much society’s?

- If people choose not to read how much of a compromise do you make to bring them back?
- is there any point in pumping out information without an audience?
- and how to appropriately engage the public.

- Do we produce journalism for Citizens or for Consumers
- Citizens: active, interested in society
- Consumers: passive, wanting to be entertained

- In Britain feel that the public service content legitimises and provides authority to their journalism.
- But in this duality which should weigh more? You are looking for balance
Famous anecdote about needing “Tits for the rail strike!!!” – I think sun???
- you need to find the right mix of trivial “is journalism” with the public service “ought journalism”.

How do we tell the truth when you put too much of the entertainment value in?
Coverage of serious news full of “fun” distracts from the actual information.

- this is at the heart of the profession
- the problem is that newsgathering is a subjective activity
- no story is value free
- who do you choose to talk to about the story etc etc