Iraq news feed draws criticism

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Sean Mota

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Sorry to say it but this is wrong on the Bush Administration. You cannot control the news that's why there are reporters on site to hear and see and report, not to get the news from your ONLY point of view. Get real Bush--nobody will go for this.


News executives of most Boston television stations are decidedly unenthusiastic about a Bush administration plan to transmit news footage from Iraq for local TV outlets in an attempt to supplement media coverage from that war-torn country.

The satellite link, dubbed "C-SPAN Baghdad," is designed to put a more positive spin on events and circumvent the major networks by making it possible for press conferences, interviews with troops and dignitaries, and even footage from the field to be transmitted from Iraq for use by regional and local media outlets, according to news accounts.

"I'm kind of appalled by it. I think it's very troubling," said Charles Kravetz, vice president of news at the regional cable news outlet NECN. "I think the government has no business being in the news business."

"We have no interest in this," said WBZ-TV (Channel 4) news director Peter Brown. "The Fourth Estate is independent and should remain so. As news providers, we should go there and see for ourselves."

In Globe interviews, government officials downplayed the suggestion that this is an attempt to manage the news. Dorrance Smith, a former ABC newsman now working for the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq, said the satellite link, which has functioned for the past several weeks, is "an expansion of our ability to communicate. . . . Basically, this provides us with the ability to feed back briefing materials and the substance of what is happening in Baghdad to the Pentagon . . . on a real-time basis. It's for one or for all as opposed to the very few media who are here in Baghdad."
 
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