Why Are Journalists Targets?

Following the murder of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, Robert Fisk ponders "the slow, painful, dangerous erosion of respect" for journalists who cover international conflicts. "We used to risk our lives in wars -- we still do -- but journalists were rarely deliberate targets," he writes. One reason for the change, he says, is that journalists themselves have lost their status as impartial witnesses to war. "What on earth was CNN's Walter Rodgers doing in US Marine costume at the American camp outside Kandahar?


Saudi Arabia's Expanding PR Arsenal

PR trade publication O'Dwyer's PR Daily reports there is yet another firm representing Saudi Arabia. In addition to Burson-Marstellar, Qorvis Communications, and Patton Boggs, the Kingdom is using The Gallagher Group in its public affairs and lobbying campaign. The firm was hired by Qorvis, the Saudi's media relations firm, to do "government relations" work. O'Dwyer's reports the firm's president James Gallagher expects the $20,000 contract, which covered work between November 15 and February 15, to be renewed.


Flacking for the Saudis

Saudi Arabia is paying $100,000 to Patton Boggs, an affiliate of Qorvis Communications, to lobby on its behalf in the U.S. Congress. According to Kevin McCauley, editor of O'Dwyer's PR Daily, the Saudis have been getting "PR fit for a King (or at least a Prince)" lately, notwithstanding their complaints that they are victims of a "savage media campaign" in the West.


More Than Strong Fences

Apparently it takes more than strong fences to protect nuclear power plants from terrorists -- it takes paramilitary squads with guns pointed straight at you. That's the take-home message from an advertisement which the Alexandria, Va.-based Smith & Harroff designed for the Nuclear Energy Institute. The ad, which ran in the January 26 National Journal, celebrates the "highly committed, highly trained ... expert marksmen" who stand ready to fend off any threat that might come their way. (Question: How many rifles would it take to shoot down an incoming jetliner?)


Exploiting Sept.11 - Greens Bashed as "Eco-Terrorists"

The Clearinghouse on Environmental Education, Advocacy and Research (CLEAR) has issued a special bulletin detailing efforts by anti-environmentalist to attack green activism. "There have been rhetorical attacks branding public interest groups as elitist and unpatriotic, further attacks on non-profit status of a handful of groups, and a renewed intensity in fighting 'eco-terrorism,' a term and concept environmental backlash leaders are trying desperately to get into circulation," the report states.


Prime-Time Smear Campaign

"By pandering to anti-Arab hysteria," writes Eric Boehlert, "NBC, Fox News, Media General and Clear Channel radio disgraced themselves -- and ruined an innocent professor's life." University of South Florida computer science professor Sami Al-Arian received death threats and lost his job after conservative Fox commentator Bill O'Reilly revived discredited, years-old allegations from self-styled terrorism expert Steve Emerson th


Oil PR/Lobby Campaign Seeks to Un-Demonize Libya

The Wall Street Journal reports that, " Libya's Col. Moammar Gadhafi, is attempting a rehabilitation. Top U.S. and Libyan officials have held several unpublicized meetings in England and Switzerland in recent years to discuss improving ties. Public-relations campaigns and lobbying efforts on Libya's behalf are under way, funded in part by oil money and driven by a desire to cash in on future deals or resume business interrupted by sanctions. ... The four American oil companies that were forced by U.S. sanctions to suspend operations in Libya ... are eager to return to Libya.


Giuliani Eyes Crisis Communications

Outgoing New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani may open his own high-end consulting firm. New York Daily News reports that Giuliani and 15 members of his administration are part of the start-up business plan. PR Week reports that NY public affairs academics and industry insiders are praising Giulianiis potential move to crisis consulting.


Appealing to Feelings

Until recently, the U.S. government rarely included any emotional content in its press materials, knowing that public relations that pander to emotions are often dismissed as propaganda. But the State Department's newest venture, a Web-based pictorial documenting life in New York City three months after the attacks, is unabashedly sentimental.



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