VIOLENCE ERUPTS IN SOMALIA AGAIN
An Associated Press story in the Los Angeles Times reported renewed violence in the Somalia that killed 20 on Wednesday including 7 government soldiers, but Reuters report shows more professionalism and credibility.
Right in the second paragraph the reporter linked the violence to the gruesome scene of 1993 when a U.S. Blackhawk helicopter in Mogadishu crashed during a military mission in the East Africanstate killed 18 American servicemen.
Although this violence is taking place in East Africa, the death of 18 Americans in Mogadishu in 1993 could argubly make proximity the prime news value here.
In fact this angle was further explored by AP when it linked the Islamic union, accused by the U.S. of having links to Al Qaeda. The Islamic union forces were driven out of Mogadishu in Decembe by Ethiopian forces. According to AP the Islamic union fighters have moved underground and are now attempting to launch an insurgency against the government. This information is not attributed to any source.
on the whole the AP writer could do better with attributing information for credibility. For example, "Amid near-daily mortar attacks and shoot-outs on the streets of Mogadishu, residents complain violence is the worst it has been in years, despite the presence of several thousand Ethiopian and African Union troops to assist the weak transitional government." Is the AP implying that residents in Magadishu said the current violence is the worst they have seen in years? I think the reporter is the story.
The quotes by Michael Ranneberger, U.S. ambassador to Kenya who also oversees Somalia do not make sense. First, he condemned the desecration of bodies said to those soldiers from Ethiopia as "horrendous," while he insisted that Somalia is making progress. "We do feel on the balance that the situation in Somalia is moving forward in a generally positive way," said Ranneberger. Both Lon Angeles Times and Reuters used the hourglass style. There are problems with objectivity, accuracy and ethical issues with this LA Times story.
One important note about this story is the date line is NAIROBI. How the reporter get to quote residents in Somalia? Was AP lifting information local news sources? It seem likely to me. Is that professional journalism?
The same story by the Reuters wire service was handled in better. The first thing about Reuters story is that the reporter was in Mogadishu where the fighting happened. Reuters quoted witnesses on the witnesses about the corpses of five soldiers -- either from the Somali government army or their Ethiopian allies -- were desecrated during some of the worst clashes in the lawless capital since the interim government took over in December.
Reuters devoted at least seven paragragps to the desecration of the bodies five soldiers by insurgents. Los Angeles Times said seven dodies. "I have never seen or experienced the kind of fighting that I saw today. People were running in all directions. I saw an old man die in front of me," the reporter quoted Faduma Elmi, 80.
The imageries in this story are more convincing than those in the Los Angeles Times.