One “Story”=Different Media Stories

Every reporter, every media outlet and chain wears different glasses when covering a story.  Here’s a good example.

The UN’s senior official in Afghanistan speaks to the UN Security Council about the latest UN report out on how Afghanistan is doing for nowHere’s the UN’s own story:

In the face of increased successes by international forces and the national army in Afghanistan, the Taliban may attempt spectacular attacks in the coming weeks, the top United Nations envoy in the country warned today.

“In other words, our sentiment is: before it gets better it may get worse,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Special Representative Staffan de Mistura told the Security Council, noting that the combined activity by the Afghan and international forces is intensifying and showing results.

“At the same time, we are detecting from the anti-Government elements an attempt to show some spectacular attacks in order to diversify the feeling of a change of momentum. What does it mean? That we should be ready, I’m afraid, for the next few months for some tense security environment.”….

Now, here’s how other media covered it.  Remember, the headlines are usually written by someone other than the reporter.

UN envoy fears ‘spectacular attacks’ in Afghanistan (Agence France-Presse):    “The UN envoy to Afghanistan on Wednesday warned that the war was likely to get worse in the short-term and that Taliban insurgents may attempt “spectacular attacks.”  “We are detecting from the anti-government elements an attempt to show, on their side, spectacular attacks,” Staffan de Mistura said at the United Nations.  “I’m afraid for the next few months for a tense security environment… Our assessment is before it gets better it may get worse,” he added …..”

UN envoy says Taliban realize they can’t win (Associated Press):  “The top U.N. representative in Afghanistan said Wednesday the Taliban recognize they can’t win the nearly decade-long war in Afghanistan though they won’t admit it publicly.  Staffan De Mistura told the U.N. Security Council on Wednesday that everyone in Afghanistan realizes the only solution is a political agreement and therefore the government’s peace initiatives are important and will be supported by the United Nations.  He said the intensified Afghan and NATO military campaign is “showing results” and “producing improvement.”  ….”

Taliban Will Attempt `Spectacular’ Attacks in Afghanistan, UN Envoy Says (Bloomberg news service):  “Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan will attempt “spectacular attacks” on U.S. and allied military forces in the coming months, the top United Nations envoy to the war-torn Asian nation said.  “We are detecting from the anti-government elements an attempt to show on their side some spectacular attacks in order to diversify the feeling of a change of momentum,” Staffan de Mistura, head of the UN mission to Afghanistan, told reporters after briefing the Security Council today  ….”

Peace Must Be “Afghan-led and Afghan-owned”, Diplomats Say (Inter Press Service):  “The U.S. move to send 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan may be seen in Washington as the only effective and viable strategy to stabilise the country, but not everyone in the diplomatic community here at U.N. headquarters agrees.  “I am not an expert on military matters. [But] the solution to the Afghan situation is not the military one,” Staffan de Mistura, the top U.N. official in Afghanistan, told IPS in response to a question about whether an increased U.S. military presence would be helpful in bringing peace  ….”

Kinda shows one what different outlets consider important enough to consider putting in the lead of their stories.  Also, someone who’s JUST reading IPS is going to get a VERY different picture than someone who JUST reads AP accounts.

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