Posts Tagged ‘PR’

The Nation Still Publishing Taliban Propaganda

Thursday, September 1st, 2011

The Nation logoOne year ago, this blog revealed that The Nation was publishing Taliban PR as news articles. Since that time, The Nation continues to publish Taliban propaganda including 61 pieces signed by Zabihullah Mujahid who is the official spokesman for Taliban. This propaganda includes pieces which term suicide bombings as “martyrdom attack” and term the Afghanistan government as “Kabul stooge regime”.

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It should be asked if The Nation believes that the suicide bombing outside a Quetta mosque that killed at least 11 people on Wednesday was also ‘martyrdom attack’.

When we first reported this practice by The Nation of acting as a Taliban mouthpiece, we wrote the following:

Reporting about important issues such as militancy, terrorism, war and security is a key role of the media. Doing this without direction from the government so that the reports are objective and unbiased is vital to a free media. But turning over use of media resources to the official spokespeople for any organization – especially a terrorist organization banned by the United Nations – is not free, objective, or unbiased. It is the opposite, which is called simply propaganda. We encourage The Nation to end this practice immediately.

Today, one year later, we repeat this call for The Nation to publish objective reporting of facts, not Taliban propaganda.

Daily Nawa-e-Waqt Publishes More Taliban PR

Wednesday, September 29th, 2010

Daily Nawa-i-WaqtWe have shown previously troubling examples of both English language and Urdu language media publishing what is little more than PR for banned organizations including militant organizations like Taliban. Another glaring example of this behaviour has appeared this week in Nawa-i-Waqt.

On 27 September, Nawa-i-Waqt published the article titled, “Afia’s sentence is a challenge to Muslim Ummah’s honor” which appears to be little more than Taliban PR. The story by correspondent Haji Pariz Gul quotes the spokesman of Taliban Azam Tariq who termed the sentence of Dr Aafia Siddiqui in a US court as an insult to Muslim Ummah’s honor and lamented the government for being a puppet of the US. Taliban spokesperson Azam Tariq then urged the government to join the Taliban.

Strangely, Haji Pariz Gul is supposed to be a news correspondent but he did not ask investigative questions or provide any comments from government or military officals. Rather, it appears that he had called up the Taliban spokesman to have him give a statement to be printed in the newspaper.

In fact, much of what is stated is stated without attribution, blurring the line between what is being said by the Taliban and what is being said by Nawa-i-Waqt. It is as if Nawa-i-Waqt has become a Taliban newspaper in this article.

Original article is here:

Taliban PR published in Daily Nawa-i-WaqtTaliban PR published in Nawa-i-Waqt

The Nation Publishes Taliban PR

Friday, September 10th, 2010

The Nation (logo)We have been writing lately about evidence of media priorities and questions about whether some news organizations are providing PR for banned organizations and jihadi groups. We have so far shown some evidence that suggests that this is present in both English language and Urdu language media, but so far most of the evidence has raised questions of influence and editorial position. Today, though, we provide evidence of a major news organization spreading direct Taliban PR.

In total, The Nation‘s website is hosting at least 160 individual articles with by lines attributed to Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid. The publishing of official Taliban PR appears to have begun in May of this year.

While it would not be unusual for a reporter to quote a Taliban spokesman, what makes this situation unique is that the by line for the articles is attributed to Zabihullah Mujahid. There is no context or analysis provided by an objective reporter. Rather, The Nation appears to have either for pay or for free given space on its website to promote Taliban PR.

That the articles on The Nation website include a by line for Zabihullah Mujahid and refers to the source as “Taliban website” demonstrates that The Nation is knowingly using their website to publish official Taliban PR.

This situation raises serious questions about whether some elements at The Nation are operating as a legitimate news source, or as a covert operatives for militant jihadi organizations. While criticism of the US and the war in Afghanistan is certainly within the bounds of responsible journalism, there is a difference between criticism and propaganda.

Furthermore, the question must be asked if The Nation is now at risk of having its financial assets and economic resources frozen under UN Resolution 1904 which states that

all States shall…Freeze without delay the funds and other financial assets or economic resources of these individuals, groups, undertakings and entities, including funds derived from property owned or controlled directly or indirectly, by them or by persons acting on their behalf or at their direction, and ensure that neither these nor any other funds, financial assets or economic resources are made available, directly or indirectly for such persons’ benefit, by their nationals or by persons within their territory…including but not limited to those used for the provision of Internet hosting or related services, used for the support of Al-Qaida, Usama bin Laden, or the Taliban and other individuals, groups, undertakings, or entities associated with them…

Reporting about important issues such as militancy, terrorism, war and security is a key role of the media. Doing this without direction from the government so that the reports are objective and unbiased is vital to a free media. But turning over use of media resources to the official spokespeople for any organization – especially a terrorist organization banned by the United Nations – is not free, objective, or unbiased. It is the opposite, which is called simply propaganda. We encourage The Nation to end this practice immediately.

We were unable to find any instances of this practice on the websites of Dawn, The News (Jang), Daily Times, or Express Tribune.

Evidence That Advertising Is Driving PR For Banned Organizations?

Wednesday, September 8th, 2010

Recently we noted that Daily Nawa-i-Waqt was accepting advertising from a banned group, Jamaat ud Dawa. We asked whether accepting advertising from banned groups would affect the reporting or editorial stance of the newspaper such as leading to articles that are sympathetic to or supportive of this group? The answer may be showing itself.

A page two column from Nawa-i-Waqt on Tuesday highlighted a claim that Jamaat ud Dawa “has made over 1 million suits for flood victims”. A staff reporter went on to report that JuD is providing milk packets to 7,000 children.

As shown in previous posts, this is a very small amount of aid to flood victims compared to that being organized and delivered by non-political NGOs as well as the government and military.

This blog has observed recently that some journalists, either unwittingly or for pay, appear to be providing PR for banned organizations. We have seen such examples in both English language and Urdu news media, including in The News (Jang), The Nation, Dawn, Daily Khabrian and now Nawa-i-Waqt.

Since Nawa-i-Waqt has also accepted advertising for banned groups, the question must be asked whether these illegal organizations are using advertising or PR methods to influence media coverage, or if the continued praise of illegal organizations reflects certain political bias by editors and reporters at these newspapers.