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  How is the war being reported?
Updated 26 March 2003, 18.49

War is very difficult to report on.

Journalists and broadcasters have to be careful they don't show too much which might upset people.

And they have to be completely fair to each side involved.

So the BBC has decided on various things to make sure the coverage is fair and not too shocking.

  • They won't show pictures which are too gruesome

  • To make sure viewers don't see soldiers being injured or killed live on screen, they have a special delay button

  • This means they can stop the cameras running before we see anything too awful

Isn't this censorship?

No, there are certain standards in broadcasting which must be kept so children - and adults - don't see anything too brutal.

Also, soldiers deserve privacy on the battlefield.

It can be extremely dangerous to give away too much about where soldiers are, or where they're moving to - enemies can use the information.

Why are we seeing such close-up pictures of the action anyway?

Most journalists reporting the war in Iraq are "embedded" with troops. That means they're working closely with the troops for the very first time.

And because they're with the armies, they get protection.

What can reporters say?

  • Troop numbers and casualties

  • Numbers of enemy prisoners of war

  • Some information about previous fighting

  • What can't they report?

    • Specific details of locations

    • Future plans of their unit


  • More InfoBORDER=0
    WorldWhat it's like to be an Iraqi in the UK
    WorldIraq war: hour by hour updates
    WorldWords of war explained
    Find OutIraq crisis special section

    BORDER=0

    Past StoriesBORDER=0
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    Civilian uprising reported in Basra
    Huge sandstorms make it difficult for troops
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