Saturday, October 31, 2015

In Syria, Russian media take a page from US playbook -

In Syria, Russian media take a page from US playbook - Fighter jets swoop in to hammer enemy installations, and bomb sight videos record the devastating direct hits. Embedded reporters, in body armor and ballistic helmets, scramble through trenches to reach the front lines. They pan their cameras over positions of Islamic State militants, interview Syrian soldiers and frightened local residents – and often do it all in an intensely personal style.

Welcome to Russia's first-ever living room war. If it sounds familiar, that's probably because Moscow has been paying close attention to the way the US military has dealt with the media, and has picked up a few ideas.

The lessons adopted from American war planners and media outlets have shaped a Russian media that is far more modern - and freer – than during the era of Soviet operations abroad.


But while the new Russian media may have picked up its American peers' polish and sophistication, it is also repeating their mistakes of the Iraq war: uncritically taking the state line and failing to ask enough hard questions about the war's impact and execution.