Warning: file_get_contents() [function.file-get-contents]: URL file-access is disabled in the server configuration in /homepages/12/d83843876/htdocs/newlife/wp-content/themes/supernova-pro/lib/functions/supernova-query.php on line 657

Warning: file_get_contents(http://grant-adamson.me.uk/wp-content/themes/supernova-pro/lib/admin/inc/webfonts.json) [function.file-get-contents]: failed to open stream: no suitable wrapper could be found in /homepages/12/d83843876/htdocs/newlife/wp-content/themes/supernova-pro/lib/functions/supernova-query.php on line 657

Warning: Invalid argument supplied for foreach() in /homepages/12/d83843876/htdocs/newlife/wp-content/themes/supernova-pro/lib/functions/supernova-query.php on line 678
Categories

Wordblog revived

incorporating New Life

Millions are watching Saddam die. Should they?

Mobile phone video of Saddam Hussein’s execution has brought to the fore on the first day on 2007 the debate about how far availability on the internet should influence what is shown by mainstream media.

Writing in the Guardian about coverage of the execution on CNN and Fox News, Dan Glaister said :

But neither could keep up with the news. And the debate about the niceties of showing the stark images of death had already been taken out of the western media’s hands.

Like so much footage shot on the ubiquitous mobile phone, from acts of police brutality to misbehaving politicians, the raw information had circumvented the traditional instruments of control.

Most broadcasters have used some footage from the video which does not show the actual moment of death but has two shots of the dead Saddam with the noose still around his neck (one of them was used across the Guardian’s front page). The BBC showed the build-up but not the aftermath.

These arguments of taste have been rehearsed previously with videos of terrorist assasinations which have been shown in edited form by middle-eastern and western TV stations. The unedited versions have been available on small sites and needed some effort to find them.

This time the unedited version is available on huge new media sites which are effectively in competition with mainstream media. And it has been pulling in a huge audience.

A few minutes ago Google video was saying the camera phone video had been watched 884,657 times, Revver’s count was 182,115 and on You Tube it was restricted to registered users. The Anwarweb.net site from which many copies seem to have come was closed because of excess use of bandwidth. Saddam and his hanging was number 1,2, 3 and 6 on Technorati’s “most searched for” list.

This puts the self-censorship on the grounds of taste, which has long been a part of MSM, under extreme pressure. If people are going to get content from Google and others, why should it not also be available from traditional newspapers and broadcasters?

The counter argument is one of brand identity and trust. MSM is defined by editorial judgements which include whether it is right to show something which is likely to be offensive to some of the audience. There is also the question of appropriateness of material within the context of the whole story.

Google, YouTube and Revver provide no context and there lies another danger. How many are seeking out this video because they feel they are being deprived of an important part of the story and how many just want to watch a snuff movie?

Looking for a British site showing this video I came across a most unpleasant page called “beheading videos”. Part of a “disclaimer” reads: “We have not made this page to shock, but to inform you. Our main stream media networks are just the governments bitches. 90 percent of people believe all the shit in the papers. But an awful lot of stuff goes unreported. The videos/links are provided for informational purposes. To further discussion about thier authenticity (or the lack there of). We firmly believe that people should have the right to see the world as it is. Some places have censored these videos. We feel this hinders our ability to maintain a free society. We are behind our troops 100%, but Tony Blair must think we are a buntch of cunts.” An animated graphic repeated down both sides of the page is of a severed head from which blood is exploding.

This page is hidden — I found it via a Technorati link — behind a site devoted to magic mushrooms and cannabis. The caption to the video says: “Saddam Hussein’s neck appears to of snapped nice.”

When I find a nutty fringe site like this I usually remember there have always been such people around and pass on: when I find one putting out the same content as YouTube I get very worried.

About

View all posts by

POST A COMMENT


No Responses

  1. Saddam's execution: the media debate | Media | guardian.co.uk says

    […] information had circumvented the traditional instruments of control.”In a considered commentary, Andrew Grant-Adamson makes some excellent points. “If people are going to get content from Google and others”, he asks, […]

  2. Clipset » Blog Archive » Sin imagen says

    […] Y sin palabras me he quedado cuando leo en El País que existe un segundo video de la muerte de Sadam Hussein, en el que aparecen imágenes del exdictador con el cuello girado 90º.Mientras que el mismo día 1 de enero las descargas del video del ahorcamiento de Hussein llegaban a las 884.657, la cifra ronda ahora 1.600.000. No recomiendo que se vea ni este video, ni el otro, ni las fotos, ni la soga, si bien es cierto que para escribir esto, tenía que hacerlo, para ver si realmente existían esas imágenes, y no eran un “posible camelo” como la niña del perro y Ricky Martin (supongo que ya sabréis el temita). Simplemente no le veo la gracia, igual que no se la veo a que los chavales graben palizas a la salida de clase… […]

  3. On The Turning Away » Blogging, Moblogging says

    […] Interestingly, SixApart’s Mena Trott last month said that Vox, a blogging-cum-social networking service that was launched commercially in October 2006, is “winning back burnt-out bloggers.” It earned Trott a coveted profile at the Economist in November. Burned-out bloggers sound oxymoronic, do they not? With the mobile phone video of Saddam Hussein’s execution flying around the world (virtual and otherwise), perhaps moblogging is coming of age. Which beggs the question of “how far availability on the internet should influence what is shown by mainstream media.” « The Illusion of Free Will   […]

  4. www.Mediar.cz says

    […] Husajnova poprava vyvolala debatu o roli médiíMédium: Guardian, Wordblog.co.uk, idnes.czAutor: Pavel Kasík Co mìla média ukázat na záznamu z popravy Sadáma Husajna? Je dobøe, že se na internetu objevily videozáznamy poøízené mobilem? A kdo je ten, který rozhodne, který zábìr je vhodný pro mainstreamová média a který ne? Takové otázky si klade na svém blogu Roy Greenslade. Pøemýšlí, zda za hladem po obrazovém materiálu z popravy nestojí právì média, která své publikum na pøísun takových materiálù navykla. Poprava se rázem stala nejvyhledávanìjším výrazem na internetu. Andrew Grant-Adamson k tomu dodává : “Pokud si lidé ten obsah najdou na Googlu nebo jinde, nemìla by takový obsah pøinést i tradièní média?” Ale vzápìtí uznává, že není jasné, kolik lidí má pocit, že je média pøipravují o dùležitou informaci a kolik z nich hledají jen zajímavost nebo povyražení u “zakázaného” videa. Trvalý odkaz    komentáøe (0)    03.01.2007, 00:02Zpìt  […]

  5. Martin Stabe » Hussein’s hanging video and the ‘new media ethic’ says

    […] See also: Greenslade and Wordblog. […]

  6. bojo » Happy New Saddam says

    […] Update the third: More from the media commentators. Andrew Grant Adamson, in a balanced piece, asks “How many are seeking out this video because they feel they are being deprived of a important part of the story and how many just want to watch a snuff movie?”. My instinct is that it’s far more likely to be the second. Meanwhile the Guardian’s media commentator Roy Greenslade says “the net has exposed the fact that that “general public” is, with apparently increasing enthusiasm, rejecting all editorial value judgements”. Maybe, but does that mean editorial value judgements are useless in what is, after all, a chase for exposure and profits?     […]

  7. Daniel says

    We all have the right to see it, as long as politicians proclaimed it did happen.

    I oppose death penalty and I oppose saddams execution. I think the whole war was a violation of international standards and the execution is self-administered justice by the american government (that put in place the new iraq government). The world needs to see the execution to be witness of the crimes commited by the american government and their political puppets which they placed into the new iraqi government.

  8. Médiablog says

    Valóban elvi kérdésekről folyik a vita, vagy csak a nagyobb látogatottságért folyik a harc? Nehéz döntések. Talán a legjobb volna a nagyvárosok főterén újra bevezetni a nyilvános kivégzéseket. Úgy tűnik, igény volna rá. Adalék: A Wordbog bejegyzése.

  9. I quit AGAIN! says

    footage was being transmitted on the net, and by mobile phones, that made their “tasteful” coverage irrelevant. news. In Glaister’s words, “the raw information had circumvented the traditional instruments of control.” In a considered commentary, Andrew Grant-Adamson makes some excellent points. “If people are going to get content from Google and others”, he asks, “why should it not also be available from traditional newspapers and broadcasters?” Rightly, he points out that mainstream media “is defined by editorial

  10. Greenslade says

    footage was being transmitted on the net, and by mobile phones, that made their “tasteful” coverage irrelevant. news. In Glaister’s words, “the raw information had circumvented the traditional instruments of control.” In a considered commentary, Andrew Grant-Adamson makes some excellent points. “If people are going to get content from Google and others”, he asks, “why should it not also be available from traditional newspapers and broadcasters?” Rightly, he points out that mainstream media “is defined by editorial