2 Global Media Information Highway Propaganda The Global Media Credibility of ResourcesA Matter of PerspectiveMeasuring YOUR PerspectivePerspective AssignmentBiasBias in Maps-Map ProjectionsBias in the MediaBias vs. Non -Bias Article AssignmentPropagandaThe Global MediaManufacturing ConsentThe Assault on ReasonUniversity Style AssignmentMedia TruismsDoublespeakMilitary Propaganda
3 Global Media Determining the Credibility of Different Media Sources TelevisionAnalyzing the NewsToxic SludgeMagazineThe Civil War between South Sudan and SudanNewspaperReported: “Beslan School Reopens”Comparing Canada’s NewspapersHollywoodBlack Hawk Down
5 Credibility of Resources Issues can become confused very easily through several different factors.Read the article “What is Your Point of View”
6 Credibility of Resources ParadigmA framework, or overall worldview, on which knowledge claims are made.Paradigms are the rules and conditions we use to understand those things we perceive.If the paradigm changes it is called a paradigm shift (ie a geocentric view of the universe shifted to a heliocentric view of the universe)FactsUnbiased information about realityAre OBJECTIVE and unarguable
7 Credibility of Resources OpinionsAre judgments and views about realityAre SUBJECTIVE and arguableBiasIs the presentation of an issue from a single point of viewBiased words have great power to persuade the unwary towards opinions they might not otherwise holdEthnocentricityWhenever the behaviour of another society or ethic group is judged by the standards of one’s own society or groupThe risk faced by those who hold an ethnocentric point of view is that they may consider any other way of life but their own to be somewhat abnormalThese people believe their culture to be superior
8 Credibility of Resources PropagandaSystematic efforts to spread opinions and beliefs, especially by distortion and deceptionIdeas, facts or allegations spread deliberately to further one’s cause or to damage an opposing causeDoublespeakA language clouding our understanding of public issues to protect the people.Restricts personal thoughts and lets words become the spoken truths“Doublespeak smuggles uncomfortable thoughts into comfortable minds”PerspectiveTo become aware of something or an understanding through ones own senses
9 Credibility of Resources When examining a source of information, ask yourself the following questions:Who wrote the document and why did he or she write it?Was the author or organization closely involved in the event? Could that have affected what was written?What credentials does the author have to indicate that she or he is a reliable source? (do some research on the author)What organization published the document? Does this organization have a particular point of view or agenda that would bias the information?Are view laden adjectives used?Do the arguments and evidence support only one side of an issue?
10 What is your perspective? “The real voyage ofdiscovery lies not inseeking new lands butin seeing with neweyes”
11 Credibility of Resources The Paradigm PigThe Paradigm Pig
12 A Matter of Perspective What do YOU see?Look at your handout
21 Measuring YOUR Perspective Complete the questionnaireRecord your answers in the appropriate column on the answer sheetMap your score on the chart
22 Measuring YOUR Perspective Perspective Assignment“An individual’s point of view influences how he or she sees the world and solves problems.”a. If a developer and an environmentalist were looking at a wetland area, how would each perceive it?b. Pick an issue that was discussed so far. Show how three different individuals or groups with differing perspectives might suggest the issue be handled.
24 BiasRead the article “Distinguishing Opinions from Facts”
25 Bias in Maps-Map Projections A globe is the only accurate method to represent the earth, since the earth is a sphere.When features of a globe are transferred onto a flat surface, a map projection is created.There are hundreds of different ways to project the globe onto a flat surface therefore hundreds of different projections.Map projection are made on a computer using complex mathematical calculations.25
26 Bias in Maps-Map Projections Every map projection has certain characteristics that make it useful for a specific purpose.However, every map projection contains some type of distortion such as size and direction.You might have to enlarge one area and shrink another.This is because the globe is in 3D and a flat surface, such as a map, is 2D.Remember: what you see in a map is not, and cannot be, a true representation of the earth!26
27 Bias in Maps-Map Projections Cartographers try to preserve four things on a map.Shape – an area’s shape is directly related to the actual shape in the real worldArea – an area’s size is proportional to its actual size in the real worldDirection – the lines of constant direction remain constant anywhere on a mapDistance – distance measured on a map are accurate
28 Bias in Maps-Map Projections “A knowledgeable map reader, recognizing that a map is both a simplification and a distortion of reality, will look for clues to the cartographer’s purposes and biases.”
29 Bias in Maps-Map Projections The Mercator projection has been used for navigation since 1569:because it gives true compass bearings between points.Compass direction along a straight line between 2 points on the map are accurate.It is most common
30 Bias in Maps-Map Projections Where is Greenland, Canada, Brazil, Argentina, Algeria, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, India.According to this map, rank the countries by size from largest to smallest.Using the atlas, rank the countries by size from largest to smallest.What differences do you see?What do these differences suggest about the Mercator Projection and about what it should and should not be used for?
31 Bias in Maps-Map Projections Conclusion: the Mercator projection distorts the shape and size of regionscountries near the equator appear smaller and those closer to the poles appear larger.In the past, this projections was widely used and became the standard for world maps.Still used by ships & pilots, in many atlases for school useThis gives people the misconception about the actual size of the countries.
32 Bias in Maps-Map Projections The Peters projectionTo correct the misconceptions promoted by the Mercator projection, Arno Peters, popularized an equal-area map projection in the early 1970s.The Peters projection, like Mercator’s, is cylindrical, but it compresses the map near the polesmaking the relative areas of any two regions on the map proportional to their relative areas on the globe.
35 Bias in Maps-Map Projections Problem: Peters projection distorts the shape of the continents far more than Mercator, especially near the poles,Canada and Russia appear to have been run through a wringer.All cylindrical projections stretch out the regions near the poles; a cylindrical equal-area projection compensates for that not by removing that distortion but by adding a second one.As a result, it isn’t a particularly elegant solution to the problem of accurately portraying the world.
36 Bias in Maps-Map Projections Robinson ProjectionIn use from by National GeographicMinimizes the distortion of size & shape of most regionsBadly compresses & distorts the shape of countries in polar region
37 Bias in Maps-Map Projections The Winkel Tripel projection was adopted by National Geographic in 1998, replacing Robinson as it better represents the size & shape of Earth features, especially in the polar regionsCreated by Oswald Winkel in 1921The Winkel Tripel is a compromise between all types of distortions. It provides the best balance between size, shape, distance and direction.Prime Meridian & Equator are straight lines while all other parallels & meridians are curved37
49 Example of how maps are used to alter perception, as propaganda Mercator projectionPeters equal-area projection.THE COLD WARDuring the Cold War, maps of “us” and “them” were often drawn to emphasize the threat represented by the USSR and its allies. The Mercator projection was the perfect choice for anti-communist cartographers: because the USSR was at such high latitudes, Mercator stretches it out of proportion to its true size. In the map below, the Warsaw Pact nations become a sprawling red menace:Redrawn in Robinson projection — a popular compromise between equal-area and conformal mapping — the USSR becomes a little less menacing.Now redraw it again in the Peters equal-area projection, and the USSR shrinks to its true size.Suppose you were a U.S. voter in Which of these would be most likely to make you support an increase in military spending?If that didn’t convince you, cartographers could always offer a new perspective, as Time’s cartographer, R. M. Chapin, did in 1952:During the Cold War, maps of “us” and “them” were often drawn to emphasize the threat represented by the USSR and its allies. Suppose you were a U.S. voter in Which of these would be most likely to make you support an increase in military spending?Robinson projection
50 If the previous maps did not convince you, cartographers could always offer a new perspective, as Time’s cartographer, R. M. Chapin, did in 1952:From this perspective, it’s easy to imagine (red) armies sweeping across Western Europe.
51 Bias in Maps-Map Projections The Earth is a sphere (three-dimensional) and a map is flat (two-dimensional), so it is impossible to produce a map which combines the true shape, bearing, and distance.ALL map projections misrepresent the surface of the Earth is some way. There are errors in distance and distortions in shapes.
52 Bias in the MediaEvery media story we see, hear, or read is the product of reporters, editors, camera crews, TV anchormen and women – people who hold points of view which may be different from our own; people who choose what events to cover, who to interview, and what words and pictures to use.In other words, the media story which is presented to you is not necessarily “the truth,” but rather one person’s or a group of people’s idea about the truth.
53 Bias in the MediaOur news is brought to us by a surprisingly small number of organizations.3 major TV news services use microwave and satellite to relay their camera footage to TV networks all over the world.Viznews (British)UPIIN (British-US)CBS Newsfilm (owned by VIACOM) (American)
54 Bias in the Media Think you’ve never heard of VIACOM? VIACOM owns: Broadcast InternationalThink you’ve never heard of VIACOM?VIACOM owns:CBS ProductionsBlockbusterParamount PicturesCBS EntertainmentCBS Television NetworkMTVInfinity BroadcastingViacom Television Stations GroupBETParamount TelevisionParamount Home EntertainmentViacom OutdoorKing World Productions Inc.United International Pictures (UIP)Famous PlayersShowtime Networks Inc. (SNI)CBS EnterprisesSimon & SchusterUnited Paramount Network (UPN)King World International Productions
55 Bias in the MediaOkay, but Canadians get their information from the Canadian Press, right?Canadian Press (CP) gathers up news from across Canada to be used in Canadian newspapers. But for its international coverage, CP relies on its agreements with foreign companies which allow it to “Canadianize” wire stories – changing the American spelling and adjusting other minor points – and print them as CP stories.
56 Bias in the MediaThis means most of our international news is reported from an American or European viewpoint.Here is the emphasis on “international” news that we see in Canada:US 34%Europe 28%Asia / Australia 17%Latin America 11%Middle East 6%Africa 4%
57 Bias in the MediaSeptember 1, 1983: A Soviet interceptor plane blows up a Korean passenger jet. The New York Times Editorial, “Murder in the Air”:“There is no conceivable excuse for any nation shooting down a harmless airliner… no circumstance whatever justifies attacking an innocent plane.”July 3, 1988: US forces blow up an Iranian passenger jet. The New York Times Editorial?“While horrifying, it was nonetheless an accident… the onus for avoiding such accidents in the future rests on civilian aircraft: avoid combat zones, fly high, acknowledge warnings.”
58 Bias in the MediaIn each of these examples, what factors could have caused the difference in media coverage?Which government involved is a friend of the United States?Which isn’t?Would you expect to see a similar lack of balance in the Canadian media?Why or why not?
59 www.adbusters.org/spoofads Bias in the Media Some people are trying to undo the effect that media has on us, such as “Adbusters” Magazine.On the next few slides are a few examples of their advertizements.
66 Bias in the Media Read the article “How May Bias de Detected?” When examining a source of information, ask yourself the following questions:Who wrote the document and why did he or she write it?Was the author or organization closely involved in the event? Could that have affected what was written?What credentials does the author have to indicate that she or he is a reliable source? (do some research on the author)What organization published the document? Does this organization have a particular point of view or agenda that would bias the information?Are view laden adjectives used?Do the arguments and evidence support only one side of an issue?
67 Bias in the Media How May Bias de Detected To assist you in detecting bias in an article, ask yourself the following questions:Do the arguments and evidence support only one side of an issue?Are generalizations and simplifications used to explain complex points of view?Are value-laden adjectives used?An author will frequently use emotional language that is value-ladened to sway our opinions. These words reflect the bias of the author and can express positive or negative opinions or biases toward the subject. Sometimes these words are referred to as loaded words. Would you like to be told that you are a bumbling idiot or that you are a courageous intellectual. Are rhetorical questions asked? (ie. A rhetorical question is a figure of speech in the form of a question posed for its persuasive effect without the expectation of a reply (e.g.: "Why me?") Are stereotypical comments used?Ex., “you people all look the same”, “blonds are dumb”, “all Muslims are terrorists”If counter arguments are used, are they weak and poorly explained?
68 Bias in the Media Reliability and confidence in the sources you use? Example: highest level of confidence can be shown in: academic article,professional journals and scholarly books that have independent review by editorial boards before publication is allowed to appear. The next level down but still fairly reliable would include most daily newspapers and periodical magazines (Times, Macleans, etc…)
69 Bias in the Media-Assignment Find 2 newspaper, journal, magazine, or editorial articles on the same or different international topics (keep them short-under 3 pages):One article has to be unbias. You consider this article to be a good one: balanced, containing good factual material, and unbiased; andAnother article has to be bias. You consider this article to be an example of bad news coverage: unbalanced, distorted, lacking sufficient information, etc.Make sure you hand in both your articles.
70 Bias in the MediaYou can use the following questions to help you detect bias in the articles:Do the arguments and evidence support only one side of an issue?Are generalizations and simplifications used to explain complex points of view?Are value-laden adjectives used?Are rhetorical questions asked? Are stereotypical comments used?If counter arguments are used, are they weak and poorly explained?In/on the articles themselves, show as many examples of bias as outlined in the questions above.Write a 1 page, (max. 300 words) response where you refer to these 2 articles, pointing out the differences between good and bad news coverage.
72 The Global MediaExposure to media has become a major factor in shaping the economic, political, social, cultural and environmental make-up of the world.Not everyone has equal access to media and an information gap exists between rich and poor, and between the more powerful groups in society and those who are marginalized individuals cannot address serious issues if they are unaware of their underlying causes and interconnections.
73 The Global MediaIn a democratic society, information should be designed to help people become well informed and better able to protect themselves.There are so many opposing claims and ideas in all types of information that it is hard to tell rhetoric from reality.Accurate well balanced information allows individuals to form opinions and to make informed decisions on whether and how to take action.
74 The Global Media But what is the quality of the information received? Information itself is a resource. To be used effectively, it has to be turned into knowledge and understanding.A wide variety of views about issues must be studied and challenged before analysis of the issues can be effective.
75 Manufacturing Consent Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media (1988)Noam ChomskyEdward Herman
76 Manufacturing Consent Read the article “Manufacturing Consent”Answer the 5 questions
77 Manufacturing Consent - Answers to Questions 1. Identify three filters that are used to manipulate information to construct reality.Three filters are: filtering information through different viewpoints such as editors, time constraints, limiting debate, andThree techniques include:selecting topics and issues that will be reported,filtering information through different viewpoints such as editors, time constraints, limiting debate, andusing a screening effect whereby one major event is used as a focus to distract from other significant events.
78 Manufacturing Consent - Answers to Questions 2. How might the use of state propaganda in developing countries affect economic and social development?When people have limited media sources (no access to other media) all they know is what the state tells them. Since the state does this repeatedly (tells them lies, etc.), the people believe and agree with it.
79 Manufacturing Consent - Answers to Questions 3. How might the use of propaganda in countries such as Canada and the U.S. affect geopolitical patterns?Propaganda: describes persuasive messages and the widespread promotion of particular ideas.The language chosen to describe people and events can contribute to the “manufacturing” of public consent for policies that favour the dominant elite.This is particularly true in situations of military conflict.Few people want their country and youth to go to war. Even if a war is seen as right and legitimate by some, government and military leaders must often use “loaded words” to sell a war to persuade the public and win financial support from elected politicians.Examples of “loaded words”: defence against or liberation from some menacing, murderous aggressor and his “cronies” and “henchmen” so that the world will become a better place.In North America, a continent that prides itself on freedom of speech, after 09/11 dissent against the mainstream view was regarded as unpatriotic in the U.S., and, in Canada, unsupportive of our U.S. neighbours.
80 Manufacturing Consent - Answers to Questions 4. Explain what is meant by a) setting the agenda and b) manufacturing consent and evaluate the ability of mainstream media to accomplish these.setting the agenda - 20 % (people who are well-educated and play a role in the decision making) make the news that the rest of the population (80%) believe.manufacturing consent - using media propaganda to tell the population that their decision (the 20%) benefits the rest of the population
81 Manufacturing Consent - Answers to Questions 5. What evidence does Noam Chomsky have that democracy is compromised in our society? What influence could this have on the outcome of critical issues?Limits are placed on democracy by subtle means used to control independent or dissident views, which might translate into political, social, or environmental action and be seen as a threat.See examples in the article: (films, war, 2001)
82 The Assault on ReasonThe Assault on Reason (2007)Al Gore
83 The Assault on Reason-Assignment University Style AssignmentRead the article “Chapter One: The Politics of Fear” from the book The Assult on Reason by Al Gore
84 Media TruismsA truism is a claim that is so obvious or self-evident as to be hardly worth mentioning, except as a reminder or as a rhetorical or literary device and is the opposite of falsism.In philosophy, a sentence which asserts incomplete truth conditions for a proposition may be regarded as a truism. An example of such a sentence would be: "Under appropriate conditions, the sun rises." Without contextual support – a statement of what those appropriate conditions are – the sentence is true but incontestable. A statement which is true by definition ("All cats are mammals.") would also be considered a truism.The word may be used to disguise the fact that a proposition is really just an opinion, especially in rhetoric.Stating an accepted truth about life in general can also be called a truism.
85 Media Truisms A fact combined with an opinion in such a way that it seemsto be the truth.
86 Media Truisms Truisms-A self-evident truth. Do you believe the following statements to be true? For each of these “media truisms”, suggest an alternative viewpoint.1. Private enterprise, while sometimes given to excess, is the core of our society and is beyond questioning.2. It’s all very well to talk about alternative energy, organic agriculture, and preserving endangered species, but when there is a payroll to meet and stock prices to keep high, there is really no alternative.3. People who are wealthy got there because of ability and usually deserve our respect and admiration.4. People who are poor got there because of their own inability. Still, they deserve some form of charity as in food banks.5. Government debts are mostly due to lavish social programs, which we can no longer afford.
87 Media Truisms6. Occasionally a tyrant in some part of the world threatens democracy and has to be put in his place, for the good of the world community and those in that community.7. Environmental problems are largely invented by irrational members of radical groups such as Greenpeace.8. Immigration laws in Canada are too lax. We let people in from minority cultures and they take advantage of our social programs and jobs.9. Unions have outlined their usefulness. Employers no longer try to abuse workers and government regulations protect workers.10. The news media are independent, socially responsible watchdogs whom look out for the public interest.
88 DoublespeakDoublespeak is language deliberately constructed to disguise or distort its actual meaning.NCTE awards an annual “doublespeak award” for particularly brutal usage of doublespeak by various officials in the U.S.
89 DoublespeakIn the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, President Bush says:“As all of us saw on television, there's also some deep, persistent poverty in this region, as well. That poverty has roots in a history of racial discrimination, which cut off generations from the opportunity of America. We have a duty to confront this poverty with bold action. So let us restore all that we have cherished from yesterday, and let us rise above the legacy of inequality.”However, a week before the President’s speech, he signed an executive order suspending the 1931 Davis-Bacon Act, thereby allowing federal contractors rebuilding in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina to pay below the prevailing wage.The Davis–Bacon Act of 1931 is a United States federal law which established the requirement for paying prevailing wages on public works projects. All federal government construction contracts, and most contracts for federally assisted construction over $2,000, must include provisions for paying workers on-site no less than the locally prevailing wages and benefits paid on similar projects.A prevailing wage is defined as the hourly wage, usual benefits and overtime, paid to the majority of workers, laborers, and mechanics within a particular area. Prevailing wages are established, by the Department of Labor & Industries, for each trade and occupation employed in the performance of public work
98 Determining the Credibility of Different Media Sources
99 Television Analyzing the News Assignment-B What are we watching? Is it real? What is reality?Watch 10 minutes of any Canadian news program today (preferably within the first 30 min.) starting at 6 pm.Example of Canadian news programGlobalCBCCTV
100 Television Create and fill in the following chart: Length of the News SegmentSegment SubjectImages UsedDetails Given2.5 minRussian Flood-ppl crying-towns destroyed, etc.-# of casualties-areas affected-economical and social implicationsExample
101 TelevisionNow to gain a better perspective on the news stories, go online to a international news program website like BBC, CNN, Fox, NBC, etc. and watch a clip of the same news segment.Fill in the chart with the information from the international news program just like you did for the Canadian news program.
102 TelevisionYou will then answer the questions on a separate piece of paper.What are the differences and similarities between the 2 shows you watched? Explain, using your own opinion, why these similarities and differences exist.What is your reaction to the news programs? Were there certain biases depending on its origin?? Did you see all sides of the stories? Did you hear any doublespeak? Explain.If changes had to be made to certain aspects of the programs, what would you change? Give at least 3 different suggestions for each program.Is there one program which satisfies local, national and international news needs or is it necessary to watch more than one program to get the full picture? Explain.Which program would you choose as your news source? Explain.
103 Television Toxic Sludge is Good for You Watch the documentary and answer the provided questions.
104 Magazine and Newspapers Information text forms (such as explanations, reports, news articles, magazine articles and instructions) are written to communicate information about a specific subject, topic, event or process.These texts use vocabulary, special design elements, and organizational patterns to express ideas clearly and make them easier to read.
105 Magazine and Newspapers Newspapers and magazine articles are often the best source for regional current information about topics such as natural disasters, elections, safe drinking water, popular music, and book reviews.Also, visual formats found in magazines and newspapers, such as photographs, illustrations, maps and graphs, appeal to most readers.However, as is pointed out by Chomsky, the information presented in the news is often misleading and biases, missing a crucial point of view. It is filtered through a number of lenses before it reaches the public.Determining fact and opinion is critical to learning current issuesas opinions often reflect personal and/or biased points of view.
106 Magazine and Newspapers What is fact????FACTprecisetestableno emotional adjectivescertainWhat is opinion???OPINIONsubjectivevalue ladenemotionally laden adjectivesuncertain…It is hot.(fact/ opinion)It is 85 degrees centigrade.(fact)This is a stinking sweat hole.(opinion)
107 Magazine and Newspapers The following activities will help you become more efficient at “mining” the text for information and meaning.Identifying fact from opinion.
108 Magazine Brainstorm prior knowledge on topic/issue. TOPIC: Civil War in Sudan and South SudanBackground Information:Read the article “Civil War in Sudan and South Sudan”Main disputes between the two SudansThe amount the South should pay Sudan to use its oil pipelinesDemarcating the borderBoth sides claim AbyeiThe rights of each other's citizens now in a foreign country - there are estimated to be 500,000 southerners in Sudan and 80,000 Sudanese in the SouthEach accuses the other of supporting rebel groups on its territory
110 Magazine2. In groups, read the two article “The War of the Sudans: All Not Quiet on the Southern Front” and “Is War between the Sudan inevitable” and highlight facts in one colour and opinion in another.Factual info:events that actually occurredinformation that is exact and provableinformation that is specific and accuratedates, names, quantitiesOpinions: what words and phrases identify opinions?views, thoughts, feelings and judgmentsconclusions that cannot be provedoften begin with words and phrases such as virtually, clearly, no doubt, most, almost none, it is apparent, etc.Remember:Watch out for opinions presented as fact.Be aware of the author’s intent and/or bias.
112 Magazine 3. Answer the following questions: Evaluate the author’s choice of facts and support given for opinions. (Do you believe the articles to be biased or factual?)Rewrite the message of each article using only the FACTS.How informative is each article on the issue? Please comment.
113 Magazine What is going on between South Sudan and Sudan today? Chimamanda Adichie: The danger of a single story
115 NewspaperOn 1st September 2004, 32 armed and masked terrorists stormed School Number 1 in Beslan, North Ossetia-Alania (Russia).The terrifying ordeal lasted 3 days for 1200 adults and children.They were packed in to the school gymnasium where the terrorists had bombs and guns.331 people died including 186 children.More than 700 were injured.
118 Newspaper Beslan School Massacre, Dramatic Scenes, 2004 [HD] The Beslan School Massacre (1 of 6).mpg
119 Newspaper Comparing Canada’s Newspapers Assignment 1. Examine the front page of each of the newspapers.What is the major news story on each?Make a sketch of the 2 front pages. Identify areas occupied by…PhotosNewsHeadings & directoriesWhat proportion does each represent of this page?
120 Newspaper2. In the first section of the paper, count how many stories are…Local stories: ___________Canadian stories: ___________Global stories: ______________Add the three types of coverage together. Find out the percentage that each coverage makes up the first section of the newspaper.EXAMPLE: (Local stories/ sum of all three coverage) * 100 = %Are you surprised by how much of the first section’s coverage is local, Canadian and global for each newspaper? Explain.
121 Newspaper3. In the first section of the paper, find as many sources as possible. Indicate which of the sources are most common.
122 Newspaper4. Choose a World Issue news item that appears in both papers.Where is it located in all papers?Which of the articles has the most effective headline. Why?What differences in reporting can you detect between the three stories?Why might these differences occur?
123 Newspaper5. After reading through each of the newspapers it is evident that each is written for a specific target audience.Decide which target audience each paper is written for. Explain and give support to your answers.Which newspaper would you read? Explain your selection.
124 Hollywood Black Hawk Down The film Blackhawk Down is a war drama based on the best-selling book detailing Operation Irene in Somalia on October 3, On this date, a team of Delta Force Operators and a company of U.S. Army Rangers were inserted by helicopter into the capital city of Mogadishu to capture two top lieutenants of Somali warlord Mohammed Farah Aidid who had been killing U.N. workers delivering food to starving Somalis. Aidid’s goal was to control the country by controlling all the food. The mission is led by Major General William Garrison, and was supposed to take no more than one hour. The extraction by the Delta team is successful, but during the raid, Somalia militiamen engaged in a heavy firefight with the Rangers. The militiamen shot down a UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter complicating the mission and resulting in extending the mission by fifteen hours. The prolonged firefight resulted in the deaths of 18 U.S. soldiers, 70 wounded, with 3,000 Somalis casualties and the destruction of two Blackhawk helicopters.
125 HollywoodBlackhawk Down is based on the bestselling book by Mark Bowden who conducted extensive research and interviews when writing the book and was part of the film production. The U.S. Army and several retired members of the Rangers and one Delta Operator also worked as consultants on the film. The actors received training at Fort Benning from the 4th Ranger Training Brigade and active duty soldiers flew the Blackhawk helicopters and conducted the “fast roping” from the helos into the market in the film. The U.S. Army wanted Blackhawk Down to be both historically accurate and realistic. The result is a film which portrays the events that took place from 3-4 October 1993.