Iraq news: UK viewers 'are mollycoddled'

Broadcasters are mollycoddling the British public in the way news in Iraq is reported, claims a documentary due to be shown next week.

Presented by Channel 4 News anchor, Jon Snow, the documentary entitled Iraq: The Hidden Story delves into the unreported side of the war.

Snow said that despite the images: "Iraq remains one of the least well covered conflicts of the modern television age."

He is flown to the fortified and heavily news-managed ‘green zone’. It is a place that he says is far removed from the "mayhem and bloodshed that we see nightly on our television screens".

Snow says the documentary shows how the military control the news agenda. Inside the green zone, they give the news briefings to the journalists and drip-feed the information of their choosing.

The Independent’s Robert Fisk says in the documentary: "No one who sees what we see would ever support a war again, so it is essential for governments that they [viewers] shouldn’t see these things."

According to Snow, the most reliable sources say that more than 5,000 Iraqis have been killed in the past three years and the average daily death toll has risen to 36. Despite this, Snow said that we are "profoundly disconnected" from the real Iraq and much of the footage we seen on our screens is filmed by Iraqis putting themselves at risk to chronicle life under the occupation.

Channel 4 News international editor Lindsey Hilsum said: "There’s no question that the war people see on their television screens is sanitised."

Iraq: The Hidden Story is on Channel 4 on 9 May.

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