Tag Archives: war media

Drone Reporting

I will be reading from my new book, Courage Grows Strong at the Wound, at 7 p.m.  Friday, Jan. 14, at the Peace Center, 6833 Stanley Ave., in downtown Berwyn, Ill.. I hope you can make it! Please see info about ordering my book following this week’s column.

By Robert C. Koehler

For me, it always comes back to the media and the moral values implicit in throwaway news stories — the ones we barely notice as we move through our day.

“A series of missile strikes killed at least 19 suspected insurgents Saturday in Pakistan’s tribal borderlands, signaling that the new year would bring no respite in a relentless campaign of U.S. attacks employing unmanned aerial drones to target militants.”

What a smooth glide these words from the LA Times, reprinted in news outlets throughout the English-speaking world, give us over the terrain of life, death and geopolitics. The story’s payload isn’t simply information, but dissociation: The reader, or news consumer, is not expected to feel more than a mild jolt at such words as “killed” and “target” or smell the smoke on the ground or see a face or sense the heartbeat of a dying “militant” or ponder the sanity of assassination by robot-delivered missile or question the pristine and righteous accuracy of a U.S. military operation or worry about the strategy of social disruption that it serves or wonder how any of this is keeping us safe.

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