Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Juan Cole explains the limitations of the US media

Discussing coverage of yesterday's coordinated bombings in Baghdad, he makes this worthwhile point:

Aljazeera notes that some US media outlets did not bother to cover these attacks in Iraq, and wonders if the story will return. I think the answer depends on the journalistic integrity of the outlet. For many, the answer will be no. Many US media are nationalist media, and cover stories having to do with US national projects. Americans have already decided that Iraq was a mistake, and they know the US military is leaving, and so what happens there is not "news" as much of the corporate media defines it (i.e. a story that generates profits because of wide public interest in it).
This may strike some readers as too charitable, but I think it captures one dimension of the problem of the US media. If you really want to know what is going on in the world, you've got to sample other sources.

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Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Scary Santa Claus and the Master of Souls


The New York Times covers a celebration of something-or-other in Baghdad.

Image: Read all about it.

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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Coming to a screen near you: The Iraqi National Museum


From the New York Times:

Amira Edan, the director of Iraq’s National Museum, says that soon she will no longer have to worry so much that the famous institution remains closed to the public for fear of violence.

People will just be able to Google it. “It’s really wonderful,” she said Tuesday.

Eric Schmidt, the chief executive of Google, had just made a presentation inside the museum, announcing that his company would create a virtual copy of the museum’s collections at its own expense, and make images of four millenniums of archaeological treasures available online, free, by early next year.

...

The museum, badly looted during the American invasion, has been declared reopened three times: in 2003, by the American occupation authorities, again in 2007 by Iraqi officials and most recently in February by Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki.

None of those openings, however, involved letting the public back in. A few invited scholars, journalists and the occasional school group have been allowed to visit. Only 8 of the museum’s 26 galleries have been restored; most of the collection’s treasures are in secret storage.

Jared Cohen, the State Department official who organized the visit, disputed a suggestion that the event seemed like a government-sponsored infomercial for Google. “This is a really good example of what we’re calling 21st-century statecraft,” he said. A dozen other companies are involved in the project to digitize the National Museum’s collections, so “it’s not an exclusive club,” he added.



But if you can't wait, try this: The Virtual Museum of Iraq.

Image: One of Iraq's treasures: The royal helmet found at Ur, dating from Sumerian times.

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Friday, October 16, 2009

Jokes Iraqis tell each other in traffic jams

From the McClatchy-affiliated blog written by Iraqi journalists, Inside Iraq.
Image: Baghdad traffic jam, 2008.

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Saturday, February 07, 2009

Luca Marchio, intrepid traveller

There are plenty of TV shows about people doing incredibly dangerous things in exotic locales, but give a thought to Luca Marchio, an Italian "tourist" who went to Iraq, and visited Irbil, Falluja, and Baghdad just like they were normal destinations. So far, so good. See the New York Times article.

Image:
tourist shopping in Falluja. Also, below, the statue of Scheherazade in Baghdad from another New York Times article.

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Sunday, April 27, 2008

Some ancient artifacts returned to Baghdad

Thanks to a diary on DailyKos, I was alerted to this story on Yahoo. There is an interesting slideshow at the Yahoo site.

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