The Gulf War and the Media

Posted: April 20, 2013 in Uncategorized

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The Gulf War of 1991 was triggered by Iraq’s invasion and annexation of Kuwait. Many critics claimed it was primarily motivated by Western oil interests in the Gulf region, not by the desire to remove a dangerous dictator, Saddam Hussein.

The US media in general were criticized for their pro-war bias. The Gulf War nonetheless marked the outset of global news newtworks, starting with CNN and followed by the BBC, Al Jazeera, France 24 and others. Capture d’écran 2013-04-20 à 12.16.38

For a background timeline to the first Gulf War, this BBC Background Briefing. On censored media coverage of the war, see these views from anchorman Walter Cronkite and CNN reporter Christiane Amanpour. For a criticism of the pro-war bias in media coverage, see this article from FAIR: “Gulf War Coverage: The Worst Censorship Was at Home“.

For a US Administration viewpoint, see this article by Pete Williams, assistant  secretary of defense for public affairs during the war: The Press and the Persian Gulf War“. For the role of global PR firms in “selling” the war, see “How PR Sold the War in the Persian Gulf“.

Below is an interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour about covering the Gulf War and the constraints of censorship.


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