(Seizure; 03-03; p.3)
Media and the power of interpretation
Not committing the mistake to over-emphasise
the effective power of the media, one may nevertheless assume
that they are a factor in opinion-forming and so in decision-finding.
If one observes the German quality papers that are not limited
in writing about the USA by contract and public as well as the
TV-stations of the Bertelsmann company, one finds in general more
critical subtones. Non-Springer company press and ARD, ZDF as
public German television and RTL and VOX of the Bertelsmann company
also do not present hurray-patriotism; there are indeed reflections
about or hints on the limitations of perceptions and the danger
of being used by the war-waging parties.
One may sum up therefore that the mentioned
German media-makers as well as politicians move within the traditional
framework of a civil society but do point to the fragility of
it in times of war.
It is an obvious different story for the media
of the war-waging parties: CNN programmes in Germany were in the
beginning mainly "impressions from the merry-go-round"
reports. They consisted of movement-blurred images combined with
sound-bites of the pattern "we don't know, where we are,
but the advance is fast".
Besides, one may as Roger Willemsen, a former German interviewer,
indicated get the impression that this war is more like a steeple
chase with target shooting.
The programmes of BBC World on the contrary
are of the usual quality: it is worth remembering that to judge
on military facts respected knowledge of institutes like the Royal
United Services Institute, the Royal Institute of International
Affairs or Jane's Defence is brought in.
Remarkable as well is the sigh of one correspondent at the American-British
press centre in ad-Dowhah, Qatar: "If you want some information,
this is not the place to be." (read