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#122#123#124#125 Episode #126 - Marketing War
(The War of Words and The Fire This Time)

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Sat 3 August 2002'  '
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Download Hour1 Download Hour2 This week, we explore the propaganda methods being used to create public support for war. We'll begin with part one of a documentary series from Radio Netherlands, The War of Words. Then, The Fire This Time, a UK audio documentary on the 1990-1991 Gulf War and Iraq sanctions, produced by 2 British journalists in response to media self-censorship there.
According to a study released last week by the Paris based NGO, Reporters Without Borders, "The United States ranks number 17 for press freedom." Out of 139 countries surveyed, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and the Netherlands tied for the top spot. They were followed by Canada, Ireland, Germany, Portugal, Sweden, and Denmark.

The U.S. received its relatively low ranking in part due to arrests of reporters for failing to reveal their sources or, since the September 11th attacks, for crossing security lines at some official buildings.

In the past year, the administration of George W. Bush has also pressed media outlets not to run unedited videos or transcripts of al-Qaeda leaders, while military commanders in Afghanistan have restricted the movements of reporters there and, in at least one case, threatened a newspaper correspondent, according to the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ).

But direct government repression of the press is not the greatest threat to a free press that Americans face. The principle and practice of a free press that can allow the citizenry to scrutinize government's performance is most frequently undermined by press outlets themselves that uncritically channel the highly managed pronouncements of officialdom. These media outlets frequently have close ties to interests that profit from official policy, and they actively participate in shaping public opinion through their editorial choices, all the while claiming to be objective.
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