Editor's pick:How media's war coverage is tinted
By PETER KIMANI
NAIROBI, 24 MARCH 2003--A clap of thunder and a flash of light, is all you see on TV nowadays as US warships bomb Iraq. This is interspersed with speeches from a fire-breathing President George Bush. It is great entertainment to the uncritical media: a local FM station tells listeners to expect "fireworks" from the Gulf; a BBC broadcaster alerts his audience that the bulletin might be interrupted should there be something "dramatic" in the Gulf.
The drama being played out in the Gulf war theatre has full-house attendance: several thousand international correspondents have set base in various parts of Iraq and neighbouring countries, tapes rolling to film the unfolding action.
Yet, the outcome of the Iraq conflict will be influenced by the way it is reported. From the look of things, shimmers of light have been shining on some of the targets hit by the US, mainly because journalists are determinedly hanging on in Baghdad.