Media Monitoring 2 – Story development

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People leave Hammam al-Alil, south of Mosul. Photograph: Thaier Al-Sudani/Reuters

November 8, 2016

Iraqi forces have found a horrifying site located near Mosul. The School of Agriculture is on the outer parts of Hammam al-Alil, a town that was taken back from ISIS on Monday. A mass grave was discovered inside the school containing the remains of roughly 100 people.

The troops perceived a strong odor as they were heading towards the town of Hammam al-Alil. The town lies 19 miles from Mosul. ISIS has murdered thousands of people in executions and extrajudicial killings. Press footage shows bones and decomposed bodies along with pieces of clothing and plastic being dug out of the ground, Associated Press reported. This is a sad site for members of the Iraqi forces who are digging up skulls and dragging bodies out of the mass grave. Troops are wearing masks to protect themselves from the horrid smell as they dug up bodies out of a grave. One skull was found with a blindfold worn by the victim before they were beheaded by ISIS executioners.

The head of operations room in the general secretariat of the cabinet, Mohammed Taher al-Tamimi, said the killings looked like a ‘massacre’ and victims were blindfolded with their hands and feet bound. Some bodies were decapitated, while others had been broken into pieces, he explained. Iraqi investigators carried out an initial examination of the grave. ISIS militants have been butchering thousands of people and documenting them with vicious images and videos online.

A representative of the Iraqi council of ministers for rescuing Iraqis fleeing the fighting, Col Khalid Jaburi said: “I cannot be exact about the number because we are still investigating … Daesh also beheaded 100 former police officers and soldiers and dumped them in a mass grave.”

The Dailymail used an effective approach in their title by adding the following “Children’s toys and human skulls lie in shallow graves…” This catches the readers attention as anything to do with children is known to be emotional and effective to many. In addition, it warns it’s readers with “WARNING – GRAPHIC CONTENT” in the form of bullet points where it also highlights the main points of the story. The BBC takes a different approach in telling the story, it mainly focuses on images, graphs and links to make it clear for the reader. the Guardian however, goes into more detail and have many quotes from spokeswoman for the UN and representative of the Iraqi council.

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