Volume 96, Issue 99
Friday, April 4, 2003

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Indie voices on the war in Iraq

By Paolo Zinatelli
Gazette Staff

As the war in Iraq continues, the public is bombarded with information from a wide variety of media sources. The Gazette decided to examine electronic, independent media outlets and present an overview of the current perspectives these sources offer.

"[Independent media] bring a non-corporate perspective," said Tim Blackmore, a professor of media, information and technoculture, noting they do not have to answer to advertisers. "I think the major difference is that the aim of independent news sources is not to make money."

These sources can provide a diverse perspective on the war, and do not always have to tow the patriotic line, he said, adding mainstream journalists with large media organizations do not have the time to sit down and talk with the people in the country they are reporting from. "Independent journalists live there, so they know the politics," Blackmore said.

There is, however, the problem of independent journalists going "native," he said, noting some can become sympathetic to the native people of a given area. "Journalistic objectivity is really a myth – [however], we can aspire to it, and hope for it," he added.

Here is a sample of what some independent media outlets are currently reporting about the war in Iraq.

"One of the architects of the Bush regime's invasion of Iraq, nicknamed 'The Prince of Darkness' for his dark deeds, is Richard Perle. He served as a foreign-policy adviser in Bush the elder's Presidential campaign, as Assistant Secretary of Defense under Ronald Reagan, is connected to a chain of neo-conservative think tanks and until the other day, was chairman of the Defense Policy Board at the Pentagon."


"The wounds are vicious and deep, a rash of scarlet spots on the back and thighs or face, the shards of shrapnel from the cluster bombs buried an inch or more in the flesh. The wards of the Hillah teaching hospital are proof that something illegal – something quite outside the Geneva Conventions – occurred in the villages around the city once known as Babylon."

–Robert Fisk


"On Apr. 1, at least 33 civilians, including many children, were reportedly killed and around 300 injured in U.S. attacks on the town of al-Hilla. Amnesty International is particularly disturbed by reports that cluster bombs were used in the attacks and may have been responsible for some of the civilian deaths. 'The use of cluster bombs in an attack on a civilian area of al-Hilla constitutes an indiscriminate attack and a grave violation of international humanitarian law,' Amnesty International emphasized today."



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