06 Mar 2011 @ 3:49 PM 

A lot is said these days of citizen journalism and the rise of social media replacing old media institutions that don’t move with the times. While this year has seen a groundswell of change in the Middle East, in part assisted by these new Internet based methods of organisation and information dissemination, let us not forget the need that still exists for the profession of journalism and the impact of the failure this profession has had on society in the last decade.

 

The main case in evidence that I refer to is the case made for the regime change in Iraq. Certainly no one can rationally state that there was not evil and corruption present within that country and that something needed to be done. However, the reasons that were given for the action taken in 2003 and the lack of detailed analysis and coverage did not do honour to the individuals involved who sacrificed so much.

 

But this has happened and much has been claimed, discussed, refuted and the like over the rights and wrongs of the event. Little could be said in this posting that hasn’t already been covered in far greater detail elsewhere.

 

The one thing that does concern me that seems to have had little to no coverage is the fact little has changed with the media and journalistic institutions since then. The example that illustrates this is the lack of coverage given to an article in the UK Guardian of an interview with Rafid Ahmed Alwan al-Janabi. Codenamed “Curveball”, Rafid Ahmed Alwan al-Janabi provided evidence ultimately used by Colin Powell in his speech to the UN on the case for war with Iraq. The recent article in the Guardian is an interview in which Rafid Ahmed Alwan al-Janabi admits that these were lies told with the purpose of helping to prompt the action that we saw taken in 2003.

 

Why is this not receiving more coverage? It could be easily argued that the ramifications of this lie has had impact (both negative and positive) to thousands of lives across many countries. Doesn’t it deserve a few more “column inches” that what we are seeing? Shouldn’t the media organisations who in 2002 blindly accepted the corporate line have the courage to admit their errors and pledge in future to do their jobs in helping to maintain a free and truthful press?

 

A transparent and accurate media is one of the most important tools in maintaining freedom. Let’s not let it disappear

 

 

Posted By: Chief Tech
Last Edit: 09 Mar 2011 @ 07:15 AM

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