Is All News Coverage of the War in Syria Biased?

There is an old saying which goes something along the lines of ‘truth is the first casualty of war’, and I think that it is particularly relevant when it comes to the civil frontiernews war that is currently unfolding with bloody consequences in Syria.

There are two main problems when it comes to finding out the truth about what is happening in any conflict. The first of these problems is the obvious fact that warzones are incredibly dangerous places to be at best. Journalist do of course go into warzones to provide coverage about what is happening, localletter but this generally means that they need to be embedded with a military unit so that they have some protection and so that their movements can be informed by military intelligence which is not available to non-military personel. This has its own problems, because the reporter cannot go where they want and only see what the troops they are embedded with happen to see. But in Syria even this is impossible. Rebel troops are ill-organised and often linked with international terrorists, and as they are primarily a guerrilla force rather than a regular army they have no proper bases and need to melt back into the general population at times. So journalists cannot really tag along with them. On the other side the Syrian regime has banned all foreign reporting, meaning not only that journalists newspoke cannot be embedded with them, but also means that there is an added layer of danger for any journalist trying to operate independently. All of this combines to mean that it is practically impossible for any professional journalist to operate inside Syria.

The second problem is that both sides of any conflict will topicals try to twist the truth to bolster their own propaganda efforts. When lives are at stake this is only to be expected. But when the only way for news media organisations to get information about what is happening inside Syria is from people involved in the conflict, you can see that this makes the information which is being reported extremely unreliable.

Western media gets most of the information they report from tbadaily either Syrian state TV, or more commonly from an organisation called the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which is based in London and correlates reports sent in from rebel groups across Syria.

Add to this the fact that almost every country kulfiy whose government might be expected to have intelligence reports about Syria has expressed support for one side or the other and thus has a vested interest in the conflict and you can see that finding pressmagazines unbiased news about Syria is virtually impossible.

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