In WW I journalists failed





For those “covering” the Great War, patriotic duty always prevailed over truth, with journalists expected to be as obedient as soldiers. 

Who could imagine Marie Colvin, The Sunday Times reporter killed in 2012 covering Syria's siege of Homs, never moving freely amid the action. Or Martin Adler, the late award-winning war correspondent, and Robert Fisk, The Independent's Middle East correspondent, never stepping foot on a battlefield? Can you imagine them dressed in fatigues with a required soldier chaperone, following military orders about what to write?

Aug. 4 marked the centenary of Britain’s invasion of Belgium, which was the real beginning of World War I. According to Philip Knightley, author of the book The First Casualty, it wasn't just the Great War but also a “great conspiracy.” He details degrees of government manipulation and media complicity, as evidenced by the “embedding” of reporters in military units and the uncritical, openly patriotic coverage of conflicts.





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