Media Coverage of War is As Confusing as War Itself

I've been following the news on the situation in Georgia and observing the media frenzy in response to the conflict.  There are hundreds of media channels and I've been watching the news breaking on and it snowball over the last ten days.

On the Times website - "A Georgian interior ministry spokesman said that Russian forces were "destroying" Gori, about 50 miles north west of Tbilisi. Red-faced with anger, the Russian commander berated the international media at the checkpoint for reporting this claim, saying: "Do you see the city? Is it destroyed? We have not done anything."

This delivers news of a bizarre interaction occurring between the Army and the media. A clash of cultures and intentions. It's difficult to know who is hurting or aiding who? In this instance it appears the media is misreporting the claim of the Russian commander or the media are reporting a different message what the Russian commander wishes to be portrayed. Having lived in Tbilisi I'm also getting fragments of news through from friends and things never seem to add up. There is just as much political and media spin in a war as any other political act. With the conflict in Georgia, one can see more than ever the strength of the media for good and bad.

Another article with a similar theme:

"The young Russian army captain had been trained for anything, and his company, battle-hardened in Chechnya, had fought their way through Georgia all the way to Igoeti, 40km from the capital Tbilisi. There, at the farthest point of Russian advance into Georgia, his company of nine armoured personnel carriers sat ready, at the tip of the Russian spear. But his square-jawed, extra cool demeanour seemed to fray a bit on Saturday as he saw, advancing around a distant bend on the road, a new foe. Bald patches glinting in the noonday sun, girded for action in a colourful array of flak jackets, kevlar helmets, polo shirts, chinos, sport sandals, cameras with fearsomely large telephoto lenses, furry boom mikes, and even the odd humble notepad, a group of western journalists heading straight for him and his men."

And I say fair enough, anything to poke fun at the ridiculous idea that war is a way to resolve a situation.

A headline like "Cross us and we will crush you, warns Medvedev" smacks totally of a school yard bully.

Will these people ever grow up?

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