Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Reporting war


A special issue of the Journal of War & Culture Studies entitled 'Reporting War' has been guest-edited by Dr Angela Smith (English) and Dr Michael Higgins (Strathclyde University). The issue also contains their article 'Strategy, evasion and performance in the live two-way: Kate Adie reporting from Iraq for the BBC'. In it, Angela and Michael explore the use of live two-way interviews in the context of war reporting, using the example of Kate Adie’s reports from the First Gulf War in 1991. The article discusses how such live two-ways are often delivered from a context of approved reporting pools or embedded journalists, and argues that such exchanges are routinely concerned with establishing an ethical framework for the conflict, with establishing alignments between the journalist and the hosting armed forces, and with attesting to the good spirit of the soldiers, rather than engaging in the provision of information. The article also suggests that when information is released through such a live two-way, this tends to be incorporated within an appropriate emotional performance. The article concludes that the live two-way from the theatre of conflict is best understood within the dynamic of the technical affordances of the medium deployed, the necessary strategies of alignment between the reporter and the combatants, and the tactical use of emotional performance.

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