The afflictions the Lebanese people experienced for over fifteen years caused by a civil war were not a prominent headline in American newspapers until the kidnapping of Associated Press Beirut bureau chief, Terry Anderson. America’s profound ignorance about Lebanon is directly correlated to the failure of the American media to report in depth about the Lebanese conflict. America’s particular ignorance concerning the Lebanese conflict is not acceptable because Lebanon plays a key role in the persistent problems in the Middle East, which directly affect the United States and world peace. There may be no way to objectively report the situation in Lebanon because the history of the myriad culture clashes there are so intricate but Mark Pedelty, author of War Stories: The Culture of Foreign Correspondents, acknowledges that objectivity is not necessary for good reporting, and in actuality breeds poor reporting. To try to solve the problem of America’s ignorance, Terry Anderson has taken the first step in recognizing the problem of ignorance toward the conflict and then by searching for and publishing knowledge which aids the American people in understanding the conflict, as well as the cultures and people of Lebanon.
The possible bias and reasoning behind what was reported about Lebanon needs to be explored. All the newspapers reported on the lives of the hostages, their families, and the expected hopes for their release. All sources which I have researched have neglected to delve into the background of the Lebanese conflict, focus on the Lebanese civilians, or offer extensive explanation of motives or strategy behind the American hostage situation.
The bias could have been intentionally what most Americans identify with as “pro-Israeli” tendencies, or could have been unknowingly biased through the method of filtering information to report. The reporting of the Lebanese conflict can be considered bias and non objective. Pedelty discusses the problematic utopian ideals of objective reporting, and the reporting of the Lebanese conflict can be paralleled with his discussion of the coverage of El Salvador on many different levels.
Pedelty structures his argument against the common perceived notion that objective journalism is good journalism. First he defines the key factors of objective journalism which are: “emotion is taboo... politics are not considered objective... [and] objectivity is supposed to be value-free” (Pedelty, 171). Pedelty also acknowledges that “objectivity remains the standard by which journalists are judged” (Pedelty, 173).