June 7th, 2011

ljbyline1

The tip of an iceberg shows in #Libya


Well done to the BBC's Wyre Davies. His report about an apparent child casualty of NATO bombing in Libya seems to demonstrate that the circumstances were invented for the international media.

The fact that this propaganda stunt was so badly done seems to have been its undoing. It was easy to spot. 

Tomorrow, I am giving a presentation at a conference on journalism at the University of Westminster. My main focus is the attempts of PR agencies to influence the reporting of the war between Russia and Georgia in 2008, but I will also be making reference to Iraq and Libya.

Ever since the start of human conflict, belligerents have had spin doctors in one form or another. The rise of global media seems to have taken their efforts to misrepresent or deceive to new levels. Those efforts are usually much more sophisticated than in this case, and therefore much less obvious - but that does not mean that they are not there.  This clumsy stunt - and the Libyans seem unable to deny that's what it was - serves to remind us of that.