The Internet as the new conflict zone

As a TV news viewer there are times when I just wanna be told what's happening minus the hysterics. Like the time after the terrorist strike in Mumbai. Wearied by the distressing scenes on TV, the last thing I wanted, was Barkha Dutt screeching about broken glass beside the Taj Hotel restaurants. Silently I prayed for a miracle. Nothing big, just that she shut up. That wasn't to be.

Externally paced media don't give viewers a chance to control what they see and hear. Not so when it comes to Self paced media. The Internet is an example. I choose to see what I want to, how much of it, at what pace and so on. Viewers increasingly are taking to the Internet when it comes to news. And for the propagators, its imperative they are there with the material and then leaving it up to the viewer to decide to watch or listen in.

The Israeli Defence force has now taken to the Internet to propagate what it wants the world to see. That's sans the influence of BBC, CNN or the other liberal media out there. In the midst of its Gaza operations, the IDF is entering yet another conflict zone: the Internet. The Israeli army announced the creation of its own YouTube channel, through which it will disseminate footage of precision bombing operations in the Gaza Strip, as well as aid distribution and other footage of interest to the international community. Their YouTube initiative at is one more piece of the new media offensive that they have undertaken.

Members of the IDF's various foreign desks intend to use these vlogs to discuss a number of aspects of the conflict, in both English and Arabic, in a personal setting that they hope will overcome the stiffness of television news.


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