Extra! Update February 2004

    POWs on TV a War Crime? It Depends on Who's Videotaping

    When U.S. POWs were put on Iraqi state TV during the invasion in March 2003, U.S. newspapers denounced this as a war crime in the harshest possible terms: "The Iraqi regime's outlaw nature was on full display Sunday as it flouted international law on how to treat prisoners of war," editorialized the Kansas City Star (3/24/03). "As of Sunday evening, there was no full accounting of what happened to 12 captured American soldiers, but state-controlled Iraqi television violated the Geneva Conventions by broadcasting pictures of them." The New York Daily News (3/24/03) was similarly outraged: Under the Geneva Convention, prisoners ...


    If News From Iraq Is Bad, It's Coming From U.S. Officials

    Despite criticism of the media by the Bush administration and its allies, U.S. TV news coverage of the Iraq situation continues to be dominated by government and military officials, according to a new study by FAIR. The few critics of military operations that find themselves on the nightly news broadcasts rarely question the war as a whole. Nightly network news reports largely focus on tactics and individual battles, with more substantial and often troubling issues surrounding the war, such as civilian casualties, rarely being reported. The study looked at 319 on-camera sources appearing in stories about Iraq on the nightly ...