From: Vincent Campbell (VCampbell@dmu.ac.uk)
Date: Mon 07 Jun 2004 - 11:34:09 GMT
The Mirror photos row is an interesting one for a range of reasons, and it
reminds me of a famous diatribe against journalism standards from James
Fallows in the US in the mid-1990s (in a book called 'Breaking the News').
In one section he castigates two journalists who appeared on one of those
hypotheticals programmes. They were presented with the situation of being a
reporter offered the chance to accompany an enemy army unit in a conflict in
which the US was involved, and whilst out with that unit it comes across a
US army unit and intends to ambush it, and the question was what would they
do? The journalists said they would do nothing to prevent the ambush,
prompting outrage from many, including Fallows. Fallows also mentions, very
appositely an example of a combat soldier confronted with the situation of
having a prisoner who knows where several US soliders are being held
prisoner and whether or not they would use torture to find out that
information. The combat soldier said he would torture the prisoner. Yet
Fallows- unlike the senior brass on the programme- did not condemn this
These recent real events have highlighted a similar double-standard, in
which soldiers (by their friends family and the likes of rush limbaugh) who
commit acts of torture are apologised for (they were only obeying orders,
where have we heard that before?), or even praised, whereas journalists who
in trying to uncover these atrocities, even when they're duped by some
terratorials after some cash, are vilified.
I won't go on for fear or breaking the Iraq war taboo on the list, instead
I'll plug my book 'information age journalism' again in which I discuss in
some detail this problem in journalism ethics, and offer some defences for
the journalists in Fallows' example (examples neither of them were able to
come up with, but that's a different criticism of them).
> From: Chris Taylor
> Reply To: firstname.lastname@example.org
> Sent: Monday, May 31, 2004 3:21 PM
> To: email@example.com
> Subject: Re: "childless couple told to have sex" meme
> And given the Mirror's recent humiliation after they caused untold harm
> with their publishing of those 'photographs from Iraq' (for which they
> should be prosecuted, potentially for manslaughter, whether or not they
> are representative of truth, i.e. something _like_ this _may_ be going
> on so it's okay to publish them), I think anything in that pathetic rag
> should be classified as fiction anyway. Faction is an extremely
> dangerous thing (although the original story made me chuckle, so thanks
> anyway Keith -- no criticism of you intended).
> Cheers, Chris.
> Ray Recchia wrote:
> > I thought this one sounded a bit fishy, and sure enough they are now
> > claiming it is probably a hoax.
> > http://www.snopes.com/pregnant/nosex.asp
> > I suppose it spread because it's about sex and because it reinforces
> > stereotypes.
> > Ray Recchia
> > At 06:40 PM 5/18/2004, Keith wrote:
> >> Interesting failure mode . . . . Maybe memes are more important than
> >> I thought. Keith
> >> **********
> >> Childless couple told to try sex
> >> A German couple who went to a fertility clinic after eight years of
> >> marriage have found out why they are still childless - they weren't
> >> having sex.
> >> The University Clinic of Lubek said they had never heard of a case
> >> like it after examining the couple who went to see them last month for
> >> fertility tests.
> >> Doctors subjected them to a series of examinations and found they were
> >> both apparently fertile, and should have had no trouble conceiving.
> >> A clinic spokesman said: "When we asked them how often they had had
> >> sex, they looked blank, and said: "What do you mean?".
> >> "We are not talking retarded people here, but a couple who were
> >> brought up in a religious environment who were simply unaware, after
> >> eight years of marriage, of the physical requirements necessary to
> >> procreate."
> >> The 30-year-old wife and her 36-year-old husband are now being given
> >> sex therapy lessons while the university clinic undertakes a study to
> >> try to find out if there are more couples with a similar lack of sex
> >> education.
> >> ===============================================================
> >> This was distributed via the memetics list associated with the
> >> Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission
> >> For information about the journal and the list (e.g. unsubscribing)
> >> see: http://www.cpm.mmu.ac.uk/jom-emit
> > ===============================================================
> > This was distributed via the memetics list associated with the
> > Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission
> > For information about the journal and the list (e.g. unsubscribing)
> > see: http://www.cpm.mmu.ac.uk/jom-emit
> Chris Taylor (firstname.lastname@example.org)
> HUPO PSI: GPS -- psidev.sf.net
> This was distributed via the memetics list associated with the
> Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission
> For information about the journal and the list (e.g. unsubscribing)
> see: http://www.cpm.mmu.ac.uk/jom-emit
This was distributed via the memetics list associated with the
Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission
For information about the journal and the list (e.g. unsubscribing)
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