POWs and reporting standards

UPDATED 27/3/2003: I receive news updates from quite a few different tech news site, and from an article on one of them I discovered that the Arab TV station/network Al Jazeera has a new English-language version of their website [note that, at present, the site seems slow/down]. I haven’t had time to read the site thoroughly, but a couple of things stood out.

I read this article on the treatment of POWs which I found most interesting from two different perspectives. Firstly, it seems to address the point I made in yesterday’s post, but based entirely on the current conflict. I’ve seen footage of Iraqi soldiers handcuffed, kneeling, in rows & rows. Depending on how far you want to take “degrading”, there’s a picture on the BBC website of a handcuffed prisoner being “given a drink” i.e. having water from a canteen poured over his face. Now this isn’t cruel, and I’m sure the POW concerned was probably grateful for some water, but is the image degrading? I’m not sure, but it could be.

In any case, it does bring the question of hypocrisy up again.

UPDATE: There’s now an article on BBCi about this very topic, which features the picture – it’s here.

UPDATE: I can’t seem to find that image on the BBC website – either I’m getting my news sites mixed up, or they’ve pulled it.

Secondly, the article has what might be considered an anti-US/UK/etc slant. After reading it, and thinking to myself, “Hmm, this is a bit anti-american…” I was forced to consider the press coverage from the UK and US. Looking at that, it seems very anti-Saddam, very pro-UK/US/etc…could it be there’s a bias there too? Makes you think about what you’re reading, and its reliability. There’s also an interesting article on MSNBC about Al-Jazeera. I think it might be quite old (dating from the conflict in Afghanistan) but probably still relevant.

A post on Slashdot covered some of this last week – where should you go for unbiased news?


One comment

  1. …and now its all over the web, wherever you look – watching the BBC news there’s been a number of reports on the reporting!

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