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article imageNew documentary to expose media of being supine in war reporting

By Mathew Wace Peck     Dec 14, 2010 in Politics
John Pilger returns to ITV for a new documentary claiming that the world's media unquestioningly report the line given to them by the military and other official sources in their coverage of wars.
The War You Don't See sets out to prove that journalists fail to do their jobs properly by relying on official briefings and by becoming "embedded" with the military during the wars they are reporting on.
During the documentary, Pilger carries out probing interviews with the BBC's Head of Newsgathering, Fran Unsworth, ITV News's Editor-in-Chief, David Mannion, and the CBS news anchor, Dan Rather.
According to Little White Lies, "Pilger uncovers the fact that one US journalist had personally verified that there were no weapons of mass destruction at any of the sites the US government claimed there were, but despite this his story was ignored by the mainstream media." It continues:
He also examines the history of the relationship between the media and government in times of conflict going as far back as World War I and explores the impact of this on the information provided for public consumption. He shows us how mainstream media rather than investigating the truth often opts to echo and promote the government’s war propaganda.
Rather tells Pilger that if journalists had been doing their job and tried to establish the truth, rather than merely relying on official briefings, the Iraq war might never have happened.
The War You Don't See also discusses the function of whistleblowers, and includes an interview with the founder of WikiLeaks, Julian Assange, prior to his recent arrest in the UK.
It concludes with this question: Why has the media been so complicit in keeping the public in the dark and what pressures have been brought to bear on it?
Ahead of tonight's UK transmission, the Independent's daily briefing, i, said of Pilger's questioning of the news bosses at the BBC and ITV that "[this] is alone worth a dozen Chilcot Inquiries".
More about John pilger, Itv, War don see, Rageh omaar, Fran unsworth