Battle of Fallujah.. Extensive yet.. Biased Coverage
“Iraqi Media House describes the coverage of the battle of Fallujah as biased.”
The Iraqi Media Househas monitored in a report the media coverage of the battle of liberating Alfallujah (62 kilometers west of Baghdad)from Isis, its operations, statements of the leaders of the battle, in addition to the way how each media outlet covered the battle and how objective it was.
The journalists in the Iraqi Media Housedepended on archives of websites, news agencies, newspapers and channels, although they faced some problems in that, as well as videos published on YouTube and social media sites.
This report mentioned also the local coverage,considering the various media trends, funding nature, in addition to the Arabic and foreign coverage.
1- The reportmentioned that the local media coverage divided into two sides;The first one focused on the development of the battle operations on a daily basis,and the progress of the Iraqi forces, untilthe announcement of liberating al Fallujah.The second side focused on the violations against the local people during the battles, ignoring the progress of the battles.
2- It has been noticed that there was intensive existence of local media field reporters to cover the battle. Some TV channels had live broadcasts of the battles orused telephone calls, which arepositive things that havenot been seen in previous battles and events.
3- The report pointed out to the differences in the accuracy level in the coverage; some media outlets published reports about a progression of the Iraqi forces in the field, but it turned out that this was wrong, according to official reports from the government. Some other media outlets published information about violations against locals even before it happens or being officially recorded by the government or international organizations.
4- Some media outlets completely ignored violations against localsmade by Al-Hashd al-Sha'bi and security forces, inspite of the Government's recognition and data issued by international organizations. Somehave even deliberatelyexploited statements by officials denying any violations.
5- On the other hand, some media outlets have ignored covering the battle field despite extensively published photos and videos, documenting thebattle progress. Theykept doubting the progress of the Iraqi forces even in the last days of the battle.
6- The report of the Iraqi Media House added that some of local media outlets depended on Provocative reports focused on statements by officials and unknown sources, which were closerto personal opinions. They have published dozen of daily reports on the battle, without having field reporters.
7- The report has also recorded that the local media coverage contained mutual accusations and incitement against forces, parties and political figures by official statements for political factions, who directly accused each other of betrayal, treason, and defamation.
8- Some of the local media used incitement terms in its visible and legible reports, such as "Safavid army", "Saudi Isis", "Iranian crowd" and "The traitors Fallujah elders". As well as "fabricating" a stories like "300 Saudi women inside Fallujah," or "The assistant QassemSoleimani killed in Fallujah".
9- Some media which owned by political forces or parties covered the activity of its faction without balance coverage with the other faction or Iraqi army and police. While some other media ignored the activity of "Al-Hashd al-Sha'bi" and focused on the activity of army and federal police.
10- Some of the "Independent and balanced" media was abandon these features, and split between adopting the official position about the battle with ignoring the violations, or take a position against the government.
11- The Iraqi Media House coverage noted that there are treason charges to the media and journalists and threatened journalists, writers and public figures.
12- According the report, the foreign coverage used their reporters to cover the battle, as well as transferring the Official statements of the government officials, In addition to photos and videos that document their material.
13- And noted the US media indifference about the violations issue against the local population, and focused on the progress of the battles with reference to fears of breaches, while the British media focused on violations along with the battle progressing.
14- The report noted that the weakness of Arabic battle coverage with the exception of some, and most of the Arabic media hired by reports reproduced from global or local agencies without the presence of reporters in Iraq. The Arabic media coverage split between adopt the government position or ignore the battles and focus on violations against the local population, their position depending on the pictures and videos posted on social media sites.