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This week's editor
Guest editor Ronan Harrington introduces this week's theme: Spirituality and Visionary Politics.
Ronan is a freelance political strategist and co-creator of Alter Ego, a gathering exploring the future of progressive politics.
No to TTIP
Encouraging reporters to become emotionally involved in the stories they cover is a worrying new trend argues the BBCs David Loyn. He calls for objectivity. Des Freedman sees this as admirable but naive; the problems lie with the larger commercial forces that structure news rather than individual journalists. The debate journies with war reporters through Africa, the Middle East and Chechya, and back to the UK where David Elstein complains about the BBC's coverage during the war in Iraq; Danny Schecter and Lance Bennett both give the US media an earfull for failing to perform critically. Also: what has a philosopher to say about truth and objectivity in journalism?
Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Lebanon, Gaza...all have witnessed a cycle of deadly air-strikes that inflict civilian casualties but are surrounded by evasion, confusion and dispute. To break the pattern requires a cultural shift, says John Wooding.
The architects of democratic intervention are failing to build healthy post-conflict media environments. There is a better way, says Laura Kyrke-Smith.
A journalism that recognises and reports the traumas of civilian victims of war can be truthful, powerful and a counter to the "indifferentiated" assaults of modern terrorism, says Philip Bennett of the Washington Post.
Fifteen years after the gassing of 5000 Kurdish civilians in the northern Iraqi town of Halabja in 1988, journalist Adel Darwish recalls how American and British governments, and a tame media, stonewalled those who tried to report the atrocity - and the truth it revealed about Saddam Hussein.
(This article was first published on 17th March 2003)
The reporting of Africa in much of the media shows how the curse of formula can disable the best intentions, says Charlie Beckett.
The renowned Polish journalist was a voice for pluralism, tolerance, freedom and dignity, says his former colleague Wiktor Osiatyñski.
The foreign correspondent's decades-long observation and insight revealed truths of power from Tehran and Addis Ababa to Warsaw itself, says Neal Ascherson.
George W Bushs musings about bombing the leading Arab satellite TV station betray hard truths about the United Statess war on terror, says Saleh Bechir.
When the media reports wars or disasters, why are death tolls announced before bodies are counted? And what does this do to our democracy? Jean Seaton, author of Carnage and the Media, dissects the numbers game.
Marielos Monzón, a Guatemalan journalist, received the 2005 Human Rights Journalism Under Threat award from Amnesty International. In her acceptance speech, she describes a land where new injustices have succeeded the horrendous violence of the 1954-96 period.
A dispute over the political views of a leading BBC journalist reflects the concerns of the corporations hierarchy over its relationship with Britains New Labour government, says David Elstein.
Blair, Campbell, Gilligan, Kelly, Hutton, Davies, Dyke...Butler. What, in essence, has happened in Britain? A guide to an unlovely, unfinished affair.
Why are government and media in Britain so hostile to each other? Because each seeks to control the narratives that shape peoples lives, says Tom Bentley of the think-tank Demos. In the process, both are damaged and so is democracy itself.
How do you tell African stories that engage a world audience? The pioneering African news journalist Sorious Samura a streetwise sophisticate talks to Caspar Henderson and Caspar Melville of openDemocracy.net about war, famine, Africa and reality TV.
The BBC is under the spotlight following Lord Huttons report, which criticised its coverage of the British use of intelligence in the run-up to the Iraq war. How can the broadcaster recover from its latest collision with power?
The crisis in Britain over the Iraq war, its intelligence and its reporting, is one of media as well as politics. John Lloyd asks: can journalism, both press and television, tell stories for active citizens rather than cynical couch potatoes?
The Hutton report reveals the crisis of the British model of governance. Tony Blair and the BBC alike have fed the public realms manipulative populism, says David Marquand. Will Blairs leadership now be consumed by it?
The Hutton report on the death of a British scientist blames the BBC and clears Tony Blair, but misses the larger truth of the Iraq weapons affair: the British government’s system of command and control
The Hutton report is both hopelessly skewed and a devastating critique of the BBCs failures, says David Elstein. But it provides the corporation with an opportunity to change for the better.
A press corroded by cynicism could not see that the death of a British weapons scientist was a private tragedy, not a political scandal.
The long walk to freedom takes place across language. What happens when words are abused by power, cheapened by war, or corrupted by media? This philosopher-TV executive surveys openDemocracys debate on journalism and war, and asks whether George Orwells dystopian vision of thought-killing Newspeak has been realised in contemporary American journalism.
The American medias coverage of the 2003 Iraq war reinforces the pattern established in the wake of 9/11: a combination of intimidation, collusion, inattention, and ethnocentrism. A leading scholar of the media charts a dismal period in US journalism and asks whether a turn of the political tide offers hope of its revival.
Swiss television processes the suffering of Chechnya according to time-honoured formulas recycled in dozens of wars worldwide: ruins, corpses, graves, tears. But Chechen custom defies the media conventions. How do the professionals then react? Irena Brezna fascinatingly explores the tensions between two worlds.
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