via Lobe Log
In what is hopefully a wake-up call for US news media, the New York Time’s public editor, Margaret Sullivan, has called on the paper to challenge its sources on the vagueness of the information they provide on drone strikes:
Some of the most important reporting on drone strikes has been done at The Times, particularly the “kill list” article by Scott Shane and Jo Becker last May. Those stories, based on administration leaks, detailed President Obama’s personal role in approving whom drones should set out to kill.
Groundbreaking as that article was, it left a host of unanswered questions. The Times and the American Civil Liberties Union have filed Freedom of Information requests to learn more about the drone program, so far in vain. The Times and the A.C.L.U. also want to know more about the drone killing of an American teenager in Yemen, Abdulrahman al-Awlaki, also shrouded in secrecy.
But The Times has not been without fault. Since the article in May, its reporting has not aggressively challenged the administration’s description of those killed as “militants” — itself an undefined term. And it has been criticized for giving administration officials the cover of anonymity when they suggest that critics of drones are terrorist sympathizers.
Americans, according to polls, have a positive view of drones, but critics say that’s because the news media have not informed them well. The use of drones is deepening the resentment of the United States in volatile parts of the world and potentially undermining fragile democracies, said Naureen Shah, who directs the Human Rights Clinic at Columbia University’s law school.
“It’s portrayed as picking off the bad guys from a plane,” she said. “But it’s actually surveilling entire communities, locating behavior that might be suspicious and striking groups of unknown individuals based on video data that may or may not be corroborated by eyeballing it on the ground.”
- The Continuing US Strategy for Regime Change in Venezuela: A Tragedy is Unfolding
- Poverty, policy and economic ruin? The true folly of neoliberalism
- The Contribution of Humanitarian Action to Peace
- Executive Director of the Geneva Centre: Education constitutes an important building block to counter violent extremist narratives
- Preventing Antibiotic Resistance: Look to the Livestock Industry
- Public-Private Partnerships Fad Fails
- Rohingya Repatriation: Many twists and turns but no solution in sight yet
- Partnerships to Promote Equality for LGBTI People
- “We need to move beyond mere tolerance and towards empathy to truly celebrate cultural diversity,” says the Executive Director of the Geneva Centre
- Does God Hate Women? A Bangladeshi Murder Case