War journalism

One of the main themes of this web site is analysing how the Western media (the “free press”) curates the narratives of Western power, how it singularly fails in one of the primary functions of journalism – to question power.

Even I was surprised to find this in the Independent: after some emotive images of injured civilians there is a direct appeal to its readers to send money to an Ukrainian organisation which “fundraises for Ukraine’s military….including ammunition, shields and food”. This seems to cross a border from journalism into something else.

Over on an outlet which still practises journalism we find a excellent high-quality news report from Al Jazeera’s correspondent in Mariupol in Eastern Ukraine. It is worth watching anyway as an example of high-quality fact based, responsible journalism. However the reason I include it here is because of this comment by the journalist: “It is important to recognise that a lot of people in this area are very sympathetic to Russia as well. They have a cultural identify, a language that they use in common, Russian.. a lot of them do identify with Russia”. This of course is letting the cat out of the bag. The secret which the Western media successfully covers up 99.9% of the time. The secret which gives the lie to the claims by the Western political class that they must act to defend “the people of Ukraine”. The truth is some of them and, more accurately, those whom it is in their interest to defend. The West is not acting in Ukraine to defend “freedom” or “democracy” or “human rights” or even the “Ukrainian people”. They are acting, as they have been since at least 2014, and as they do everywhere else, to further their own interests.

(Which doesn’t necessarily justify the Russian operation. Indeed this operation is beginning to look like something out of the ‘Western playbook’ – for example the West’s regime change operation in Libya in 2011 – also ostensibly done to protect civilians).

Author: justinwyllie

EFL Teacher and Photographer