2009-04-12

Brown-Spindoktor stolpert über Schmutzkampagne

--- Nachdem Tony Blairs Spindoktor Alistair Campbell ein "aufgesextes" Irak-Dossier seinen Job kostete, stolperte einer seiner öffentlich weniger bekannten "Nachfolger" unter Gordon Brown, Damian McBride, nun über eine geplante Negativ-Kampagne gegen die konservative Opposition:
Ein hochrangiger Berater von Premierminister Gordon Brown hat E-Mails über eine geplante Schmutzkampagne gegen die Opposition von seinem offiziellen Downing-Street-Konto an einen Blogger geschickt. Später gelangten die Schreiben an die Presse. In den Mails stünden Anzüglichkeiten und intime Details unter anderem über David Cameron, den Chef der Konservativen, schrieb die Zeitung "Daily Telegraph" am Samstag. Der Autor Damian McBride -- Browns Strategieberater und früherer Pressesprecher -- trat am Abend zurück. Für "Verbreitung solchen Materials" sei kein Platz in der Politik, sagte ein Regierungssprecher.
Zumindest, wenn die Pläne aufgedeckt werden.

Hier noch ein paar interessante Details aus der Originalmeldung:
Mr McBride had earlier apologised for the “juvenile and inappropriate” comments and insisted that no one else at No 10 had been involved. But the row showed little signs of abating as details emerged of the emails’ contents. They were sent from Mr McBride’s high-security Downing Street account to Derek Draper, a former Labour spin doctor who runs a Left-wing website. They contained a number of innuendo-laden suggestions about the personal lives of Tory MPs including Mr Cameron and George Osborne, the shadow chancellor. The emails were obtained by Paul Staines, a Tory blogger who runs an internet site called Guido Fawkes. They were offered to newspapers including The Daily Telegraph, which declined to buy them. However, several other newspapers were preparing to publish the material.

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2008-02-29

Selbstzensur der britischen Medien im Fall Harry

--- Die britischen Medien hatten sich ein nationales Schweigegelübde über den Kampfaufenthalt ihres geliebten Prinz Harrys im Süden Afghanistans auferlegt, wird nun nach der Bekanntmachung der Geschichte durch Matt Drudge und seinen ominösen Blog-Report offenbar. Drudge -- am besten bekannt durch seinen Scoop mit der Clinton-Lewinsky-Affäre -- bezog seine Informationen angeblich aus einer schon im Januar publizierten australischen Nachricht über den Einsatz des Blaublüters im wilden Kriegsgebiet einer australischen Gazette, die zunächst nicht weiter für Aufsehen gesorgt hatte. Nur der London-Korrespondent der "Frau im Spiegel" wunderte sich auch, wieso Harry nicht mehr das Nachtleben in London bereicherte. Jetzt ist herausgekommen, dass das britische Verteidigungsministerium den Medien im sonst so klatschsüchtigen Großbritannien ins Gewissen geredet, schöne Fotoreportagen nach der Rückkehr des Prinzen angeboten und so das Stillhalte-Abkommen erwirkt hatte. Doch das Verhalten der britischen Presse wirft medienethische Fragen auf, findet nicht nur die Washington Post:
Harry, 23, ... deployed to Afghanistan on Dec. 14 and has been fighting Taliban forces from a forward combat base in southern Helmand province. His presence there had been kept secret from the public in a remarkable deal between the British military and media. But the secret was revealed in two little-noticed articles in an Australian tabloid magazine, and then blasted into the global media spotlight Thursday by the Drudge Report Web site. ... As soon as the news of his deployment leaked, British newspapers and television stations rolled out extensive special reports on the first British royal to see combat since the Falklands War more than 25 years ago. Those reports included lengthy taped interviews with Harry just before hisdeployment in December and last week at his Afghan base. Photos and video showed Harry firing a machine gun, patrolling on foot in full combat gear in an Afghan village and washing his socks in a camp sink. "All my wishes have come true," Harry told reporters in last week's camp interview, wearing a brown military T-shirt and camouflage pants and noting that he had not showered in four days. ...

The idea that Britain's diverse and highly competitive media outlets could keep a secret about anything struck many observers as remarkable -- particularly when that secret was England's favorite young hell-raising party boy. "It makes me wonder what else is going on," said John Harmer, 30, a London office worker. "I don't think it can be the first time" that the media have agreed to keep information from the public. Some wondered whether an agreement among leading media outlets to withhold information would damage the media's credibility. "One wonders whether viewers, readers and listeners will ever want to trust media bosses again," TV broadcaster Jon Snow wrote in his blog. "Or perhaps this was a courageous editorial decision to protect this fine young man?" Every major news outlet in Britain signed on to the deal, which was struck in three meetings called by top military officials between September and December, according to a media source involved in the process. ...

Details of the arrangement were hammered out at the second and third meetings. In return for their silence, the media would get access to a pre-deployment interview. They would also be allowed several "embeds" with Harry's unit. Pooled interviews, video footage and photographs of Harry in Afghanistan would be made available to all. ... British media critic Roy Greenslade called the Harry story "an incredible piece of self-censorship."
Harry selbst wird die Tage nun frühzeitig abgezogen, hat das britische Verteidigungsministerium verkündet.

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2007-07-01

Neue Einblicke in die islamistische Web-Propaganda

--- Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty hat einen Bericht über die Internet-Propaganda islamistischer Kreise mit Schwerpunkt Irak veröffentlicht. Dabei handelt es sich zwar keineswegs um einen Report aus neutraler Quelle, aber die Ergebnisse kann man sich mal anschauen:
The book-length report, "Iraqi Insurgent Media: The War Of Images And Ideas" by RFE/RL regional analysts Daniel Kimmage and Kathleen Ridolfo, provides an in-depth analysis of the media efforts of Sunni insurgents, who are responsible for the majority of U.S. combat deaths in Iraq. Kimmage and Ridolfo argue that the loss of coordination and message control that results from decentralization has revealed fundamental disagreements about Iraq's present and future between nationalist and global jihadist groups in Iraq and that these disagreements are ripe for exploitation by those interested in a liberal and democratic Iraq. The report also finds that anti-Shi'ite hate speech is an increasingly prominent part of the insurgent message. With sectarian killings on the rise in Iraq, the tenor of invective points to the possibility of even greater bloodshed. A wealth of evidence shows that hate speech paved the way for genocide in Rwanda in 1994, for example. Iraq's Sunni insurgency has developed a sophisticated media campaign to deliver its message over the Internet through daily press releases, weekly and monthly magazines, books, video clips, full-length films, countless websites, and even television stations. Part of the target audience for insurgent media projects are mainstream Arabic-language media, which often amplify the insurgent message to a mass audience. The popularity of online Iraqi Sunni insurgent media, the authors contend, reflects a genuine demand for their message in the Arab world. A response, no matter how lavishly funded and cleverly produced, will not eliminate this demand. The authors argue that efforts to counter insurgent media should not focus on producing better propaganda than the insurgents, or trying to eliminate the demand for the insurgent message, but rather on exploiting the vulnerabilities of the insurgent media network.
Ein paar Auszüge aus der Analyse: Biographies of the best-known martyrs are sometimes lavish affairs, Abu Mus'ab al-Zarqawi, the most famous jihadist to have died in Iraq, was the subject of a downloadable "encyclopedia" that includes not on numerous materials on the Jordanian militant's life, but also a complete collection of his statements, essays on his beliefs and influence, and statements on the jihad in Iraq by Osama bin Laden. Formatted as a 7.7-megabyte self-contained mini-browser, the "encyclopedia" provides users with a table of contents and a conventient graphics interface. ... The development of martyr biographies illustrates the growing professionailism of the insurgent media network. In May 2005, a participant in a jihadist Internet forum posted a collection of 430 biographies of martyrs in Iraq culled from newspaper accounts, forum posts, and transcribed "wills" recorded by suicide bombers before their final attacks. ... Just as the operational press release is the basic unit of insurgent textual production, visual records of attacks are the basic units of insurgent video production. The two genres are closely related, and insurgent groups sometimes issue operational press releases along with links to download a video record of the attack. (...) Most insurgent groups take care to "brand" themselves, placing their logos in a corner of the screen for the duration of the video ... The impressive array of products Sunni-Iraq insurgents and their supporters create suggests the existence of a veritable multimedia empire. But this impression is misleading. The insurgent media network has no identifiable brick-and-mortar presence, no headquarters, and no bureaucracy. It relies instead on a decentralized, collaborative production model that utilizes the skills of a community of like-minded individuals.

Und sonst: Terror-Craze in UK: Polizei fahndet mit Großrazzia nach Terroristen. Die Fahndung nach den Bombenlegern von London und den Hintermännern des Anschlags auf den Flughafen von Glasgow läuft auf Hochtouren. Und: Autobomben als billige Massenvernichtungswaffen. Von Bagdad nach London: Das urbane Leben und die Mobilität sind die Ziele des Terrorismus und der Sicherheits- und Überwachungsmaßnahmen

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