Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Do as he says, not as he does









December 15th, journalist Nawras al-Nuaimi was assassinated.

This is all the attention AFP gave her when she was killed:

GUNMEN murdered a female TV presenter in northern Iraq on Sunday, her station and police said, making her the sixth journalist to be killed in the country since October. Nawras al-Nuaimi was shot near her home in Mosul, Al-Mosuliyah TV said, and was the fifth journalist killed in the northern city in the same period.

Her life was worth a grand total of 55 words to AFP when she died.

Today her life was worth over 3 times that amount to AFP (they offered 185 words).  Eight days after they report her death oh-so-briefly they're suddenly interested and more interested than the first time.

What happened?

AFP's Iraq reporting notoriously sexist.  It's been so bad that above the bureau chief's head at AFP, it's not even question of have-we-been-sexist because they accept that the reporting coming out of AFP has been sexist and that's one reason that changes are taking place regarding AFP's Iraq coverage.

In "Editorial: Iraqi women" yesterday at Third, we noted, "A 19-year-old journalist is killed.  And AFP breezes past it but tries to create a mythical savior out of a (male) police officer who hugs a suicide bomber?"

Remember that?

That magical body that was a bomb shield?  (No, it doesn't work like that, we covered that last week.)

They hailed the man as a hero.  AFP devoted 274 words to his death.

But Nawras was only worth 55.

Today she was worth 185.  Because her mother met with the killer and told the killer that he sent her daughter to "paradise."  She feels no anger or rage.  And the killer, the mother said, turned Nawras into "a bride to paradise."

And that's why AFP can embrace Nawras.

The dead police officer, they made him a hero, they told a Little Golden Book story of a man of action.  And Nawras?  Her life was action.  She was an Iraqi journalist in Iraq.  That's courageous.  She can go to jail, she can be killed and she has no foreign outlet behind her.

And Nawras being a strong woman didn't interest AFP one damn bit.  Their entire output of the last three years have demonstrated that strong women don't interest them.

But when her grieving mother made those idiotic statements (hopefully out of grief), it was a way for AFP to run over Nawras and her strength, it was a way to turn her passive.  And once they could portray her as the passive woman, they were suddenly nearly three times as interested in her death.

'We were just reporting!'

No, you weren't.  When you wrote about the hugging police officer, you found a lot of people to quote.  You didn't want people Nawras died and you didn't quote anyone.  A week later her mother makes some idiotic remarks and you quote that but you don't quote her co-workers.  The day Nawras died,  Mu Xuequan (Xinhua) reported:

Nuaimi has been working as a presenter of TV programs in the local Mosuliyah channel for five years, he said, adding that she was the fourth journalist killed in Mosul since October and the 51st in Nineveh province since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003.

Nawras al-Nuaimi, 19, had worked for five years at the station.  Since she was 14.

But AFP didn't find that impressive and wasn't interested in that or anything except now she was passive and a 'bride' in death.

What AFP refused to do, Yasir Ghazi (New York Times) does today:

On Dec. 15, her last day alive, Nawras al-Nuaimi left her university and headed home for a nap before going to work at a local television station. She had just become engaged, to a doctor, and friends said she was realizing her dream of becoming a television news presenter. On her way home, she was ambushed by several gunmen, who shot her in the head and chest.
“She was on top of the world,” said a journalist friend, Mohamed, who gave only his first name because he feared he too could be killed.
Security forces have found lists of journalists targeted for assassination during raids on militant hide-outs in Mosul, and many journalists have stopped reporting in the streets or attending news conferences. Like other reporters in Mosul, Mohamed fled to the relative safety of the nearby autonomous Kurdish region. Even there, though, in the city of Sulaimaniya, a reporter was recently killed outside his home, in front of his mother.
Mohamed said he had warned Ms. Nuaimi not to go out alone.
“She told me she is not doing anything wrong, why would anyone think of killing me?” he recalled in a recent telephone interview.        

All Iraq News reports an attack on "the building of Salah-il-Din Satellite Channel and the office of the Iraqiya Satellite Channel in central Tikrit."  Ammar al-Ani (Alsumaria) reports militants stormed the station following a bombing (bombing in downtown Tikrit).  Xinhua explains, "The attack took place in the afternoon when gunmen broke into the building in central Tikrit, some 170 km north of the Iraqi capital of Baghdad, after a huge explosion at the entrance of the building, the source said on condition of anonymity."
NINA notes the Ministry of the Interior killed 4 suicide bombers.  All Iraq News notes 5 suicide bombers are dead (from detonating their own bombings), 4 guards of the building are dead and nine more injured, 9 assailants were shot dead by the security forces and 13 police officers were killed.  AFP adds 5 journalists were killed: "the chief news editor, a copy editor, a producer, a presenter and the archives manager" with five more left injured.  Of the five dead journalists, Al Jazeera notes the five were "four men and a woman."

The Committee to Protect Journalists issued the following:

The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns today's attack on Salah al-Din TV station headquarters in Tikrit, Iraq, which left several journalists dead. The attack comes amid a wave of targeted killings of journalists in the past few months that has made the country among the deadliest in the world for journalists. 
"This vicious attack on a TV station plunges the Iraqi media back into the darkest days of the war which has already claimed the lives of more than 150 journalists," said CPJ's deputy director, Robert Mahoney. "Iraq has a pitiful record of prosecuting the killers of journalists. If the government fails to bring all those responsible for this latest outrage to justice, gunmen will again conclude they can kill journalists with impunity."
It is not clear how many journalists were killed in the attack. Iraqi police told Al-Jazeera that at least five staff members--the station's chief news editor, a copy editor, a producer, a presenter, and the archives manager--were killed by gunfire or explosives.  The Associated Press reported that six channel staff members were killed but did not specify their identities. The motive for the attack was also not clear. Earlier this year, the Iraqi government suspended the licenses of 10 stations, including Salah al-Din, accusing the channels of sectarian incitement for their coverage of Sunni protests in Hawija outside of Kirkuk.

Mohammed Tawfeeq and Joe Sterling (CNN) remind:

Journalists haven't been immune from the terror. Before the latest violence, Irina Bokova, director-general of the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, denounced the killings of eight journalists in Iraq this year.
"Violence against media workers undermines the ability of journalists to carry out their work freely as well as the right of citizens to receive the independent information they need," Bokova said.

Kirkuk Now points out, "The attacks on the two media outlets came following the assassination of a female journalist in Mousl and another one in Kalar distrcit of Sulaymaniah province."  The woman the outlet's referring to is Nawras al-Nuaimi.  while the man is Kawa Garmianai.  As Kirkuk Now noted, he died December 5th, shot in front of his own home and died en route to the hospital.  He was "the editor-in-chief of Rayal Magazine, an independent monthly magazine."  On the 19th of this month, in a bombing in Baghdad's Dora district, journalist Muhanad Mohammed and his son were killed.  Friday, the International Federation of Journalists issued the following staement:
The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has expressed its deep sadness following the death of Iraqi journalist Muhanad Mohammed in Iraq yesterday, Thursday, 19 December.
According to media reports, Iraqi journalist Muhanad Mohammed, who worked for Sumariya TV, and his son were killed in an explosion in front of their house in the Dura area of south Baghdad yesterday, Thursday 19 December. Twenty people were killed and 40 others were injured in the explosion which is believed to have been targeting pilgrims on their way to the holy city of Karbala.
"We express our deepest condolences to the family of the respected journalist Muhanad Mohammed and we send our sympathies and solidarity to his colleagues," said IFJ President Jim Boumelha.
Amid the escalating violence in Iraq, the IFJ is appealing to the Iraqi government to introduce genuine measures that will bring an end to the killing of innocent journalists and ensure that those who carry out acts of violence against the media face the full weight of justice. Six journalists have been murdered in the country in the last three months.
In October, the IFJ launched its End Impunity campaign which is calling on the governments of Iraq, Pakistan and Russia to investigate killings of journalists and bring their perpetrators to justice.
"Our message is clear: the slaughter of journalists in Iraq must end now," continued Boumelha. "Such blatant and utterly appalling disregard for the lives of journalists quite simply cannot be tolerated.
"We reiterate our call for the Iraqi government to set up a special task force to that has the resources to carry out thorough and independent investigations into the murder of journalists in the country. Impunity must end and those responsible must answer for their crimes."

For more information, please contact IFJ on + 32 2 235 22 17
The IFJ represents more than 600 000 journalists in 134 countries
Among other outlets, Muhanad Mohammed worked for Reuters.  Reuters correspondent Serena Chaudhry has Tweeted about his passing.

  • The world lost a lovely soul today. My friend & former colleague, Muhanad Mohammed, was killed in a suicide bombing in . Devastated.

  • On Thursday, my ex- colleague Muhanad Mohammed was killed in a suicide bombing in . Help his family:
  • Reuters' Alastair Macdonald Tweeted:

  • Please think of the family of Muhaned Mohammed, a friend and former colleague, killed by a bomb in Baghdad:
  • And we noted it Friday, but Ammar Karim (AFP) remembered Muhanad Mohammed here.

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