US journalist shares experiences of Iraq war | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, March 12, 2008 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, March 12, 2008

US journalist shares experiences of Iraq war


Brian Palmer, a US war correspondent and filmmaker, delivers a lecture on 'Notes from occupation: War and ethics of journalism' at RC Majumder auditorium of Dhaka University yesterday. Photo: STAR

It is not possible to do independent journalism while covering a war like Iraq war as it becomes very difficult to collect and verify information in such a situation, said Brian Palmer, a US war correspondent and filmmaker, yesterday.
Though a reporter is supposed to be independent, there is no alternative to embedded journalism during a war, he said while delivering a lecture on 'Notes from occupation: War and ethics of journalism' at RC Majumder Auditorium of Dhaka University (DU).
Globalisation Study Group and Mukto Buddhi Charcha Kendra, a centre for practice of freedom of thought, jointly organised the lecture.
Brian Palmer covered the Iraq war in 2003 as an embedded journalist. He then worked with the CNN.
Sharing his experiences of the war, Palmer, now an independent journalist, said he had to become an embedded reporter as he wanted to know what the US troops were going to do after declaring the combat operation in Iraq.
If anybody had wanted to cover the war, they would have to be embedded with the US troops, he said, adding that otherwise, the troops would not have cooperated with them.
Palmer also said that even if any reporters now want to cover the post-war situation in Iraq or Afghanistan, they have to become embedded journalists. Otherwise, the US troops will not cooperate with them, he added.
During the war, the US media aired only those news which they thought are newsworthy as they regard themselves as universal and objective, he said.
Replying to a question, he said that although he was an embedded journalist, his eyes and ears were open. He is now making a documentary on his experiences during the war.
He is now working for his first documentary titled 'Full disclosure: A reporter's journey toward truth in Iraq' based on three trips to Iraq with the same US marine combat unit.
Anis Alamgir, a Bangladeshi journalist who went to Afghanistan during the war, said the embedded journalists received cooperation from the US troops, but the independent journalists did not get any cooperation from the US troops or from the then Afghan government.
Dr Giti Ara Nasreen and Shamim Reza also spoke at the programme presided over by Kaberi Gayen, associate professor of the department of Mass Communication and Journalism of DU.

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