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14 June 2005


F. de C.

Couldn't use the trackback. So:
I linked this article -with the note on Google!-


Interesting even if sometimes quite confusing as per the real idea conveyed. I fundamentally disagree on numerous aspects and felt compelled to comment:
Mass suport is the privilege of journalist: You claim that only journalist get cover. There has been so many hostages in Irak that actually I do not have a "distribution" of their profession but there has been, for example, a massive coverage for the British-Irish-Iraki woman, who was in charge of an aid agency and unfortunatly got executed . You also question what would be the coverage if Florence Aubenas was not a journaliste, and claim that Liberation was the initiator of the wave. Well, well, well. Firstly, let's face it, who except military forces and some very minute profession are going in force in coutries torn by wars and occupation? Who? Yes indeed, journalist. And furthermore, I can not see any problem with the actual employer of FA to organise the "wave" to rally support for her employee. Makes total sense to me.

Media coverage was undecent to many: Well, well, well. I do not think this is a news. It can not be denied that Irak is today doing the front pages, so Irak related story are more likely to come on the front of the newspaper than Colombia related. I am however still facing decent "media exposure" to the fate of Ingrid Betancourt.

The coverage was so noisy... : not sure the anecdote of a friend watching TV bears a lot of weight to be honest?

Negocition matter, not noise. Sorry to contradict you but the coverage around Chesnot and Malbrunot was simply HUGE if not much much bigger than the one that FA benefited from.

What about the rest. Nothing ...? Interesting diatribe which finished with a little attack against France. I would like to remind that the way to cover mediatic event has nothing to do with the shortcoming of specific countries. An example: the world got taken over by the press after the Tsunami event that killed 200,000 people. Does the world have an idea of the massacres going on in Africa, massacres that have generated casualties in the same range as those of the WWII (see ? Why so much attention for a "little Tsunami" and so little for civil war of this amplitude? May be the entire world found a way to express solidarity??? Or may be it was simply more prone to get media attention. Full stop.

This level of support is dangerous: people… "Can this give ideas to other terrorists: probably." Come on Ouriel. Taking hostage has been common practice for thousands of years... As if media coverage was what is actually causing people to be taken hostage. Shall we talk instead about the cause rather than the consequence, about the crisis in Irak rather than the hostages in Irak. Or may be we do not want to be able to talk about it? I take it this is not what your reasoning intended to go to but it is indeed where it would be ending. Be careful Ouriel, this "let's kidnap a journalist and let's get famous" example is EXACTLY in the same vein of a right wing american blog which concludes by "let's buy a Mercedes"

The overdose of NO-INFORMATION ...: Question: what would be your expectation of information when it comes to the authorities negociating with hostage takers? The place where the hostages are? An interview of the hostage takers? Unfortunately, there is not much that can be obtained but the worst thing would be for people to be forgotten and let to rot in their hole. Hence the coverage reminding people not to forget.
"Would you have done something without that excess of information?" Has actually anyone done something about it??

Anyway, I will close here by stating the bleeding obvious. "Florence too unfortunately: free from terrorists she becomes now hostage of media and political interests…." Don't you think that she is delighted, rightly, to have to face this. And when it comes to the book, a- let's see, loads of other hostages did not necessarily write one, and if she does, well you do not have to buy it ... unless you really want to do away with what you called NO-INFORMATION and know EXACTLY her ordeal?


thanks for that quality comment. Let s get back to your points 1 by 1 and let s make sure i was clear enough (i do recognize that what i say is complex, problematic and not easy to agree with)

> mass support is the privilege of journalist: what i mean is that journalist get more (incredibly more) cover than others in similar situations (doctors, NGOs, ...). it is a fact. The problem is not that FA employer organize a wave (don t get me wrong this is even great). The problem is the selectiveness according to the status. If you are journalists you will get more/ much more ( apparently other think like me). By the way out of military and journalists: NGO, politics and diplomatics are also massively present in Irak. My comment is not only refering to hostage in Irak but to all kinds of situations where a life is at stake.
> My comment do not apply only to media: but to all other form of support. as you know the support got to all level of society (associations, politics, schools,...) and therefore my conclusion is on the excess of this particular action symptomic of French society unable to wake up to solve its important issues.
> Media coverage is undecent to many: you obviously did not think of other families who lost their kids in France and still looking for them for example . Why don t they get that support? Because they are not in Irak? My point here again is that, because of strong irak media coverage, FA got special coverage.
> The anecdote is not the point regarding "the noise". It is just showing a consequence of excess mediatic coverage. The point is that all the message was so present at all level of my life (Computer, TV, street, ...) that it had no more effect on me because i was not noticing it anymore. And i am sure not to be alone in that case.
> Coverage was probably bigger (and i believe even better) for Chesnot and Malbruno and it supports my point: but i did not feel like it because it was on a shorter period of detention. The point is that level of support to get government into action was reached much before the last days of FA s detention. And therefore all incremental actions (which was more popular than mediatic) was not what made a difference. Again it participates in my conclusion: the french people needed an opportunity for solidarity because this is missing in France (Exactly like European constitution pol was an opportunity to express a need for a change of government and not a "no" to Europe)
> What about the rest? first i don t see any problem in criticizing France. Second please do not compare FA case and Tsunami. I don t think it is relevant and even decent. My point again is that France is not apt to wake up, gather solidarity, creativity and energy like they did for FA to solve their own problem (an not the world s catastrophes as you mention)
> Level of support is dangerous: maybe for thousands years they were hostages but not media. And i believe you should read more about terrorists psychology: they seek/ need media coverage, starting in Palestine for many years now. Media is their best partners because it is the best way to spread and intensify terror message but also to gain better compensation when negotiations come. Media is not the cause for taking hostages of course but it is a pretty good reason to keep them longer and even kill them. The reasoning is not " let s get an hostage to get famous" but " let s get an hostage, and get media involved to get coverage and then better firepower to negotiate". In FA case terrorists had a wonderful case. By the way i don t join to the analysis of the mercedes case you indicate: causes for taking hostage are clear. But causes to use media are different. Don t get me wrong....
> The overdose of NO-INFORMATION: the problem is not the NO INFORMATION, but the overdose. more info cannot be obtained. right. Overdose: is not sain because it lead to lost of control and blindness on other key issues. To answer your question. "Would you have done something without that excess?" the answer is OF COURSE. For a proof just have a look on Modjaba case in my blog.
> your conclusion: i don t know if Florence was delighted to face that media coverage. For now maybe yes. she s a journalist so she s used to media. But let s talk about it in a month. Chesnot and Malbruno themself said they were over sollicited and said on the TV, media should respect her. If she writes a book this will be great, because FINALLY it will put an end to this NO-INFORMATION. Her book will have probably a lot of success and it will be just the consequence of the situation: Overdose of NO-INFORMATION creates a need for TRUE-INFORMATION (that we will get only partly because a lot is confidential)
> My conclusion: it is always difficult not to be critical when it comes about such a situation where OF COURSE support is needed. My reflexion is just about excess and the illness of french society it talks about through the above. Illness that can be analyzed through above symptoms. But to see that it requires a little honesty.



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