Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Reporting Casualties

Fair.org posted a link to an intriguing piece on "Left I in the news", a self described "left-wing perspective on the day's news and the way it's reported in the media," about casualty counting in Iraq.

I think it's funny when people commenting on responsible journalism wear their bias on their sleeve, but I like that I can read opinions like this with that skepticism in mind.

I'm certainly not going to claim these points of my making, but I think you'll find Lefti's insight on the matter worth checking out. Lefti addresses the claim in a recent AP report of "40 insurgents killed" in a recent airstrike, addressing the credibility of such a report. The blog reports that the number came from government reports, and questions the methods to count such figures. Noted also was the lack of information on civilian deaths, and the implications printed in the New York Times that a captain's statement that no civilian deaths were reported is the perceived as "none occurred." Another comment that stating the figure as "purported," as it was reported in the LA Times is a very weak disclaimer. Claims that precision-guided missiles hit their target also give no indication what the target was, which is of interest, because the only targets mentioned are people, which the missiles couldn't have cued on.

It's a quick read, but it makes several great points that I think bear significance regardless of your political leanings.