Asia Pacific Media Educator


At about six on the morning of Thursday, March 25 (Eastern Australian Time), the first traces of NATO's air campaign against Yugoslavia appeared in the international news. CNN, arguably better primed to cover war in real-time than anyone else, dropped any pretentions of digesting its material before it was presented and gave viewers a video scrapbook of raw commentary from its correspondents around the world. Cross to Brent Sadler on location in Kosovo, who narrated the rumblings of what were believed to be impacting bombs, then jump in an instant to NATO headquarters and the White House, where nothing was being said. It wasn't really journalism as it is supposed to be presented, but the formula of correspondents under fire calling unfiltered reports along crackly telephone lines was a winner. In time, CNN would invoke all of the presentational styles it used during the Gulf War, to the extent that some isolated segments of footage or narration were almost indistinguishable from it.