01 January 2007

Our man in Kismayo

Under an headline Somali militia abandon stronghold, BBC issues a report on retreat of Somali Islamist militia from the southern port city of Kismayo.

While the goings on in Somalia deserve an in-depth analysis and are not clear cut (see more here), two bloopers of the Internet journalism in that article deserve a special notice. First a minor one - a picture that depicts a helicopter:

You will agree that it is not a very exciting picture, but the capture text is: "Ethiopian aircraft and artillery are backing Somalia's government". That under a picture of an old Russian transport chopper peacefully standing on what looks like a pasture.

But the text under the next picture really takes the biscuit:

Ethiopian troops are advancing cautiously towards Kismayo

Yep. Advancing cautiously. And the picture reflects anything but advance. Or caution, for that matter.

If that's the level of journalistic zeal and accuracy displayed in reporting from one of the hot (and strategic) points on our globe, one wonders about the day-to-day reporting.