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The Faculty-Staff Newsletter, e-mail edition
Santa Clara University, May 1, 2006, Vol. 6, No. 13

War correspondents talk to aspiring journalists

Representing visual, television, independent Web-based, and traditional print journalism, the panelists drew on their respective experiences to discuss the war coverage and the daily decisions that shape media coverage. They also answered questions from about their own perceptions of the Iraq war, the media’s treatment of the war, and U.S. foreign policy.

Having recently returned from visiting Iraq, Chatterjee talked about what he saw in the “Red Zone,” the unsecured areas of the country. Gordon, whose recent book (with Gen. Bernard Trainor) Cobra II explores the invasion and occupation of Iraq, spoke about the history of this war and how it relates to the first Gulf War and the first Bush administration in 1991.

Early in the war, during the spring of 2003, Rauch was embedded with the U.S. Marines in Iraq. Because she works for an international news organization, Rauch said she made an effort to photograph and document everything she could; editors at individual papers and organizations then make the choices about what to publish. “Americans tend to filter the most,” she said.

Beydoun said the panel was a great opportunity to deal with misconceptions American audiences tend to have about Al-Jazeera. “We cover the whole world, not just the Middle East,” she said. “We cover America, not only Washington, D.C., but the whole country. Sometimes a foreign person sees things more than a local person would.”