The phrase “The CNN effect” has been coined to describe the impact of the twenty-four hour news cycle on the formulation of foreign policies and decisions taken by nation states. Breaking live coverage could be framed in a very graphic and dramatic manner, or in any manner at all really, resulting in public pressure on politicians or leaders, forcing them to take quicker decisions than they ordinarily would, and to take action contrary to their policy or prior standing, because of the audience watching at home.
While I have come to recognize the power of news media to manipulate the news and to influence future events, what I didn’t realize is that so-called credible news reporters like Reuters, are now fabricating news stories and providing false images and evidence to the world’s audience!
On May 8th, 2011, Reuters news agency apologized to The French Channel 2, for providing it with old archived photos on Lebanon, claiming these were in fact from the uprisings in Syria! Apparently, this was not the first time that Reuters broadcasted false images since the beginning of the unrest in Syria. It had thus far fabricated plenty of news and some video footage that turned out to be footage of events that had taken place in other countries. In fact Reuters had done the same to Iran during the post 2009 Iran elections era.
These scandals in news reporting have revealed that media manipulation is in fact a two-way street. News media agencies do not select stories independently, but in fact can be part of a larger international agenda to portray events in a particular way, in this case, to further smear the Syrian regime’s image and undermine its security and stability.
The “latest events in Syria and the region divulged the huge media misleading, which was not only restricted to TV channels , newspapers, magazines and news agencies, but also websites of political and strategic studies centers affiliated to some persons and groups of bloggers, and communication networks on You Tube, Twitter and Facebook.”*