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NEWSWEEK

I will like to know you thoughts about the problem Newsweek has created.
I think is tragic that some journalist do no have some basic sence of responsibilty.
And although the apology is out ( excuse me is not an apology is a simple retraction)
The damage is done !. There are 16 people death and the hate towards american troops is again on the rise.
You know that photojournalists can also project positive or negative views from the same incident. But at least ,becuase of the nature of our work, we have to be close to the events.
We can show what we want ,but we can not make up a photograph.
I wonder if the writer was even in Guantanamo? or he/she relies on his/her “sources”.
Rumors can not be news!

by Alex Reshuan at 2005-05-16 15:48:45 UTC (ed. Mar 12 2008 ) Miami , United States | Bookmark | | Report spam→

for the benefit of anyone (that like me) might be asleep at the wheel:

[google news]

by Fernando Gaglianese | 16 May 2005 16:05 (ed. May 16 2005) | Philadelphia, United States | | Report spam→
I hope Newsweek weren’t just bowing to Government pressure. It seems something nasty was going on and that has been clarified by other situations. This is all very dubious stuff. I’m not sure about it all. I need to read more about it. At least now, reardless of what Newsweek wrote, the whole mess is out in the open. And if Newsweek were right, as they may well be, then someone must take responsibility. The FBI have pronounced their concerns about the military interrogaters using the Koran as a tool with which to torment. This story will run and run. I’m not yet sure where I stand on it. How about you, whoever’s reading this thread?

by Paul Treacy | 16 May 2005 22:05 | New York City, United States | | Report spam→
The increasing use of “sources who would speak only on the condition of anonymity” has troubled me for awhile now. I truly believe that this now-common practice is the root of all that is currently broken with journalism today.

When a source remains anonymous, it requires the public to have an unreasonable amount of faith in the integrity of the reporter and their judgement as to the reliability of their source. The public shouldn’t have to have ANY faith in the reporter – there should be adequate information in the story for any person to independently verify the facts. That is truly what reporting is supposed to be about – expose the facts and put them out there for public scrutiny. Anonymous sources prevent verification.

Years ago I remember reading “All the President’s Men” and how Ben Bradley at the Washington Post insisted on two on-the-record sources before allowing the Nixon story to go to press. A little more than thirty years later, a search on the Washington Post web site for the phrase “condition of anonymity” returns over 8,000 hits from the past 14 days. Post stories that reference anonymous sources include:

  • A1 story from May 12th on Aircraft Ban at National Airport
  • Various May 15th stories on Uzbek uprising
  • A1 story from May 9th on Tom Delay’s current woes
  • A5 story from May 16th on Rumsfield DOD report
  • A1 story from May 9th on Officers in Iraq putting priority on extremists
  • A1 story from May 4th on Democrats’ Travel costs and lobbyists

This HAS to stop, or we will cause the public to lose all faith in our ability to report truthfully on ANYTHING.

by David Harpe | 16 May 2005 23:05 (ed. May 16 2005) | Louisville, United States | | Report spam→
While Newsweek may or may not have had two official sources for their recent “retracted” story, it is clear that with the declarations of the three returning British captives from Guantanamo that the content of the article is accurate. As in the “story” of Abu Ghraib, these three British men (and if they weren’t holding British passports they should be given the benefit of the doubt anyway) spoke out immediately about their experiences in US custody. Their interviews with the press in Britain exposed not only the physical torture experienced but the psychological manipulation utilizing methods including the mistreatment of the Koran. What is at question here, and we return to it again and again with the current administration, is not so much the acts that we should object to, the abuse, the torture (see this month’s Atlantic Monthly for an article on the pointless use of torture in wartime), but the story itself. The administration’s first response to the pictures and stories of Abu Ghraib was not to deny the acts as they occurred, but to attack those who had exposed them. While the media should be viewed with scepticism based on its consolidation and general editorial direction (with some notable exceptions), the facts tend to get reported somewhere, at sometime.

What is clear is that the one news source we should never trust is the US government. They are the subject of the news, not its disseminators, and if we continue to wait for US govt approbation for each and every news story, then the level of reporting will continue to decline. Why is that we waited for government confirmation of the story (yes, the Newsweek article before retraction was a confirmation of a story that appeared in the press 17 months ago) to become universally aware of the methods of US govt interrogators in Guantanamo?

Some quotes from the British prisoners supporting the Newsweek story:
“Ehsannullah, 29, said American soldiers who initially questioned him in Kandahar before shipping him to Guantanamo hit him and taunted him by dumping the Koran in a toilet. It was a very bad situation for us, said Ehsannullah, who comes from the home region of the Taliban leader, Mohammad Omar. We cried so much and shouted, Please do not do that to the Holy Koran. (Marc Kaufman and April Witt, “Out of Legal Limbo, Some Tell of Mistreatment,” Washington Post, Mar. 26, 2003.)

“The behaviour of the guards towards our religious practices as well as the Koran was also, in my view, designed to cause us as much distress as possible. They would kick the Koran, throw it into the toilet and generally disrespect it.” (Center for Constitution Rights, Detention in Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay, (Aug. 4, 2004)

by Jonathan Fox | 17 May 2005 04:05 | New York City, United States | | Report spam→
I’m only an economist, and don’t know the issues about anonymous sources very well, but I’m most interested in your professional reactions. And glad that Jonathan brought up the (likely) fact that the story itself is true. Not only that, the military obviously thought it was true — not just speaking about the one who reviewed the story for Newsweek and did not question this aspect, but judging from General Myers’ press conference (in which he commented that he did not think this story had caused the riots) — he obviously assumed it was true, or he would have indicated otherwise, and he should know!
I’m also not sure how I feel about people getting so much more upset about our disrespect for the Koran than for people, but it does speak to the issue of the countereffectiveness of all this torture — which we should be hearing more about than we are. The whole thing is a remarkable display of how far our government’s credibility has fallen.
Patty Kuwayama

by [unverified member] | 17 May 2005 08:05 | New York City, United States | | Report spam→
Ultimately, it’s not about disrespect for the Koran, rather it’s disrespect for the people who have so much respect for the Koran. Right? It’s despicable behavior in any case. And we now know it happened.
Religion is a human construct and is utterly lethal. It’s more dangerous than malaria.
I despair sometimes.

by Paul Treacy | 17 May 2005 09:05 | New York City, United States | | Report spam→
What is clear is that the one news source we should never trust is the US government. They are the subject of the news, not its disseminators, and if we continue to wait for US govt approbation for each and every news story, then the level of reporting will continue to decline.

This is an excellent point, and a good reason that anonymous sources should not be used. Many of the sources used these days are cited as “government officials”, which in my mind calls into question the agenda of the person making the statement. Without knowing who they are, the public has to trust the reporter to judge whether they are credible/unbiased/etc. The public should never have to trust a reporter.

by David Harpe | 17 May 2005 11:05 (ed. May 17 2005) | Louisville, United States | | Report spam→
Its distressing that the alleged mistreatment of the Koran in this case has become a bigger topic than those unecessary deaths. Some former detainees were quoted as saying that ‘their feelings were hurt’ when the Koran was not treated properly by the soldiers. Boo hoo! First, if thats the worst of it, then they need to get over it! Second, I doubt that these same Muslims would show the same respect for religious symbols of other faiths since they claim that theirs is the only true faith. Third. Has anyone considered that extremist Muslims who will kill for the beliefs, might actually lie. In the military’s investigation on this, they did turn up reported incidents of prisoners using pages of the Koran in attempts to clog the toilet system. No outrage when they disrespect it. It is also well known that al-Qaeda teaches its recruits not only to lie, but how to best lie to their advantage. Fourth. Why do we not hesitate to believe the prisoners, but constantly doubt our own soldiers?
In all this its too easy to lose sight of the single anonymous source, who bears much blame but will not be held responsible. His and Newsweek’s shoddy fact gathering has contributed to 16 people losing their lives and many others being hurt. And the best response Newsweek could give was that they messed up. Anonymous uncoroborated sources should never be used. The power of words is too great and this man’s words, which now have been retracted, have caused too much harm.

by Carlos Lopez-Calleja | 18 May 2005 02:05 | Los Angeles, United States | | Report spam→
in reading this thread i couldn’t help but think about a recent village voice article by sydney schanberg about the governments increasing usage of anonymous sources to pump out their message and ways the press corp should react to it.

good readin for anyone interested.

http://www.villagevoice.com/news/0516,schanberg,63150,6.html

by | 18 May 2005 12:05 | brooklyn, United States | | Report spam→
Shit happens,people make mistakes,not everyone is as educated or cultured as others,some people are bored,some people die,life goes on.

Find me a war without a victim and I will show you someone who has been doing too much dope.
C,est la vie.

by Mikethehack | 18 May 2005 15:05 | | Report spam→
if anyone wants to read a crazy book about what the government has to “offer” check out “Confessions of an Economic Hit Man” by John Perkins. True account of his life. I just finished it, and let me tell you, news stories like this one sound a whole lot different after reading that book.

Even though I work at a paper, and I try to stay on top of current events, I still feel like I’m so lost in everything that’s going on. All I know, is there has been some crazy shiznit going down the past few years. And the fact that I just used the word ‘shiznit’ in a sentence made my credibility drop to about ZERO!

by Ana Pimsler | 18 May 2005 18:05 | Washington, DC, United States | | Report spam→

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Participants

Alex Reshuan, Photographer Alex Reshuan
Photographer
Guayaquil , Ecuador
Fernando Gaglianese, Photographer Fernando Gaglianese
Photographer
Dresden , Germany
Paul  Treacy, Photographer Paul Treacy
Photographer
(Photohumourist)
London , United Kingdom ( LGW )
David Harpe, Photographer David Harpe
Photographer
Louisville , United States
Jonathan Fox, Editor / Translator / Pho Jonathan Fox
Editor / Translator / Pho
Barcelona , Spain ( BCN )
patricia kuwayama , patricia kuwayama
New York City , United States
Carlos Lopez-Calleja, Photographer Carlos Lopez-Calleja
Photographer
Los Angeles , United States
,
Brooklyn,Ny , United States
Mikethehack, Freelance thril performer Mikethehack
Freelance thril performer
Way Up My Own Ass , United Kingdom
Ana Pimsler, Photojournalist Ana Pimsler
Photojournalist
Manassas, Va , United States


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