Who, What, When, Where, How? Did the U.S. Media Follow the Basic Rules of Journalism, or did they "Follow the Flag"?

May 20, 2003

Journalism professor Robert Jensen argues the U.S. media would fail Journalism 101

The BBC producer who had his foot amputated after stepping on a landmine in Iraq has called on news organizations to continue using independent journalists in war zones despite the risks.

Stuart Hughes was part of a four-person team filming the Iraq War in Kurdish-held territory. A local guide accidentally led them into a minefield.

In the explosions, Stuart’s colleague, cameraman Kaveh Golestan was killed. Thirteen reporters, cameramen and other media workers lost their lives in Iraq. Hughes told the London Guardian it was a terrible war for journalists.

But Hughes is still insisting on the importance of independent journalism. He said: "We will always need people on the ground, independently forging ahead, finding the stories." He warned that the deaths of the journalists may be used as an excuse to push aside independent and freelance journalists in favor of embedding journalists with the military.

Last night, media critic Robert Jenson spoke at St. Francis College in Brooklyn on the US coverage of the invasion of Iraq.

  • Robert Jensen, Associate Professor at the University of Texas School of Journalism at Austin. He is author of Writing Dissent: Taking Radical Ideas from the Margins to the Mainstream.