From the Associated Press,
“Amid all the bloodshed, confusion and deadlock of Syria’s civil war, one fact is emerging after 2½ years — no conflict ever has been covered this way.
Amateur videographers — anyone with a smartphone, Internet access and an eagerness to get a message out to the world — have driven the world’s outlook on the war through YouTube, Twitter and other social media.
The tens of thousands of videos have at times raised outrage over the crackdown by the regime of President Bashar Assad and also have sparked concern over alleged atrocities attributed to both sides.
The videos have also made more difficult the task of navigating between truth and propaganda — with all sides using them to promote their cause. Assad opponents post the majority of videos, and nearly every rebel-held area or brigade has a media office that produces and disseminates them. To a lesser degree, regime supporters produce some videos — but they also pick apart opposition videos, trying to show they are fake.
In the Vietnam War, the 1991 Gulf War and the second Gulf War in 2003, foreign media directly covered the conflicts, often with reporters embedded with or accompanying the American military.”
A story like this is the reason this blog was even created – and because of its’ requirement for class, of course.
It’s groundbreaking. It puts any user/reader/viewer/tweeter [safely] on the frontlines of the conflict. The view from a sniper’s nest, evidence of atrocities, propoganda and unbiased news all flowing out like a uncontrollable fire hose. Trying to discern truth from half truth is the key to understanding what is actually happening. Understanding who runs a particular account can help to identify which side (if any) the content belongs to.
The videos have undeniably ensured that details of a bloody conflict that has killed more than 100,000 people and ravaged the country do not go unnoticed, providing a look at the horrors of war: villagers digging with through destroyed buildings their bare hands for survivors; massacre victims in pools of blood; children with grave wounds from heavy bombardment.
Newspeople now need to be more cautious. There is a higher responsibility for the news organizations that decide to disseminate YouTube videos to verify before they disseminate it. Causing an uproar over a fake or staged video would bring the last thing the region needs at the moment: more violence.