Wednesday, November 09, 2005

The Problem With Media Coverage

Earlier this year before I was deployed I wrote a weekly column in Ohio University’s college newspaper The Post. Every chance I got I tried to influence the students at OU’s nationally recognized Scripps school of journalism since they are some of our nation’s future journalists. Mostly I would talk about the media’s coverage of Iraq and how I thought it is for the most part biased and unrepresentative of how things really are. College life can be a mini real world for many students who tend to focus only on what is going on in their lives and rely upon others to tell them about the real world. Considering this I thought that perhaps I could influence one or two of them for the better. Now if only I could influence professional journalists who already report for the mainstream media.
The problem with the mainstream media’s coverage on the conflict in Iraq, and for that matter any violent conflicts in general, is that those covering the conflict have no prior experience in the military. Consider Martha Stewart reporting on Monday night football, or Pat Buchanan reporting on the 25th anniversary of BET. These journalists tend to stay in safe zones, and instead of gathering their own info and talking to real soldiers in the field, they receive briefings every day by the military so they don’t have to do any real reporting themselves. Of course there are exceptions like the fine reporter Oliver North from Fox News.
My point is that how are the people of America supposed to get an accurate picture of the conflict in the Middle East if they cannot get it from the media? Obviously not everyone can travel overseas to see first hand for them selves. What needs to happen, in my opinion, is that someone needs to start holding the media accountable for what they report. Now of course this is what bloggers already do, but until everyone turns off their television sets and hooks up to the Internet something needs to change. For the most part the mainstream media reports whatever they want, no matter if it is detrimental to our nation and those serving in the military. I am thinking along the lines of the propaganda war waged by the North Vietnamese during the Vietnam War. I am not mistaking Iraq for another Vietnam, but rather, only comparing what the media did then, providing aid and comfort to the enemy, to what they are doing now by only reporting the bad news coming from Iraq. Body counts and explosions on TV wane support for the war here in America and bolster the terrorist’s confidence. War is not a pretty thing, but when all people see is the negative side of war they don’t see what it accomplishes. In the case of Iraq our presence has freed the Iraqi people and given the Middle East a chance at change, something I am sure any oppressed people would want.
Until the media gets a clue about how war is conducted and what it is like to serve in the military they wont learn to report the real news coming out of Iraq. Instead stay tuned to the bloggers who have a better clue about what is going on.
(Once I figure out how I will post the links to my columns from The Post.)


Coastal-Nick said...
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aandn said...

Hey Boggs,
We are followers of "The Yon". Saw your site on michael's site so are checking you out. We like you. Great idea and we agree with your diagnosis of the MSM. We don't even watch Fox much anymore but read reporting from the internet and write Military guys in Iraq and Afghanistan for news. Two sisters here, horse breakers on a Texas cattle ranch who will be reading you and taking this journey with you as you send us the "truth". Be careful to be accurate, like Mike is and you will be just fine. Anything we can send you over there, just let us know, Boggs. Stay safe and thanks for what you are doing. Drive on!

iamNomad said...

I also found you from "Yonland" as I mentioned in another comment on an earlier entry, and you're spot on in assessment of MSM. No longer do I watch, even Fox has let us down lately. As aandn does, I read Milblogs and listen to friends who are deployed or recently returned.

Keep your head down and stay safe. I'll be checking back and look forward to reading.

T. F. Boggs said...

Thanks for the comments guys, I would love to have you along for the ride. I am in the process of making the site a little more professional looking but I dont know if I can compete with "The Yon." I will be writing a lot more when I get to where I am going soon so keep checking up on me.

aandn said...

Professional - -we don't need. Please don't try to compete with "The Yon". We like you for you- - just like we like "The Yon" for who he is. We dub thee "The Bogginator". How's that Boggs? By the way - -are you single as you will attract more little "Boggettes" if you are? If you are- - then I guess the "Boggettes" are just fresh out of luck. We know, you are writing to get the truth out on our soldiers in Iraq but a little fun along the way to cheer you up doesn't hurt! Hope your deployment goes smoothly and are looking forward to more blogs from "The Bogginator". Thanks for what you are doing.

T. F. Boggs said...

Thanks for taking an intrest in me aandn, and I appreciate your support. I am a single guy by the way so if that gets me more readers then let some other people know. Take care and I look forward to hearing more from you guys.

iamNomad said...

Just like there is only one Yon, there is only one Boggs! I for one have really enjoyed what you've been writing and truly appreciate everything you are and will be doing for our Country.

You stay safe and write what is in your heart.