Thursday, 2 July 2015

Who's Pulling the Journalists' Strings?

I spent several hours today sorting out what should have been a simple story. The first breaking news reports suggested that ISIL militants were just smashing some Palmyran busts for the hell of it - probably as propaganda suggesting they were steadfastly keeping to the paths of Koranic righteousness. Then the element appeared that this was "outside Palmyra Museum", and mentions were made of the Al-Alat lion being smashed a few days earlier. Most accounts in the media had the same erroneous information on this, accompanied by a quote from Maamoun Abdelkarim, Syrian antiquities minister. They were invariably also linked to comments from UNESCO's Bokova. Then one mentioned that "also on Thursday" ISIL had stopped a smuggler and tried him and destroyed his contraband. I began to have doubts about what the photos previously said to be taken in Palmyra showed. Then an additional version appeared when this was a failed 'monuments man' story (and a "baying crowd"). All the time though that lion was in it. I am beginning to suspect that behind all of these stories was a single badly-prepared press brief and that journalists had to improvise and that's why we get a whole range of different versions. What actually happened (or whether anything happened at all) will perhaps become clear later. At least one of the statues shown was [I think] a fake, which suggests rather that this involved smuggling rather than an artefact-rescuer. Who was behind this story appearing in the forms it did? Why were the faces blurred out?

Vignette: Manipulation of the press

1 comment:

Carla van der Waal said...

As we know now, the smashing of the busts was in Manbij used Google translate for this declaration "group of contraband statues of the city of Palmyra in the state of Homs, then was transferred to the Islamic court in the city of Manbej where ruled that Ptazir getaway and destruction of the statues"

Creative Commons License
Ten utwór jest dostępny na licencji Creative Commons Uznanie autorstwa-Bez utworów zależnych 3.0 Unported.