The war as commodity
M V Ramana; The Daily Times
March 20, 2003 Op-ed.
As President George W Bush gets ready to give the final order for the
anticipated carnage in Iraq, US media outlets, especially TV
channels, have been having a field day with numerous reports and
interviews on the upcoming war. Once the bombing starts, all major
television channels in the US are expected to switch to covering the
war. Mainstream channels like NBC and CBS have reportedly delayed
scheduled comedy shows till April in anticipation of the war.
The Pentagon, for its part, has tried to ensure that all this media
coverage will be favourable by introducing a new process called
embedding under which media personnel will be allowed to live and
travel with the troops. As part of the bargain, journalists promise
not to report certain categories of information and agree to honour
news embargoes. About 500 journalists have chosen to get embedded.
Already, prior to the start of war, the investment has paid off;
these journalists have been filing the kind of "human interest"
stories that the Pentagon likes.[...].