Tuesday 22 July 2008

White phosphorus and newsroom curmudgeons

I'm reading and writing about White Phosphorus, it's use by the US Army in Iraq and media coverage of it with special focus on blogging, of course, in November 2005.

In short, the episode was a major embarrassment for the mainstream media.* Beaten to the story, the mainstream media then made things worse by describing what amounted to some impressive investigative journalism as 'rumours' 'surfacing on the Internet'.

Indeed, as yet, I haven't found a British mainstream media article that actually mentions Mark Kraft by name - the guy who discovered an article in a military magazine that nailed the story.

This sort of stuff annoys bloggers, as you might imagine. In fact, it would annoy anyone regardless of whether they happened to blog about it or not.

Hopefully, I'll have some time to write a linked commentary at a later date, though if you really can't wait, you can browse my delicious links on the subject.

In the meantime, I'd recommend reading Jeff Jarvis on 'newsroom curmudgeons', which shows that some journalists haven't learnt from this and other episodes in the last few years.

*The 'mainstream media' is a term which is becoming increasingly meaningless as this article demonstrates, but you get my drift for the moment at least.


JTownend said...

have you got a blog post on the White Phosphorus episode...? would be interested to read....

Daniel Bennett said... Sorry. But I might have one day...and will publish it somewhere at some point.

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