The name is a pseudonym for a Guardian journalist reporting from Damascus. He or she was the one to report the fabricated story of the Syrian security shooting the 9 army personnel in Banias.
She raised my curiosity because her misrepresentation of the Syrian uprising, lack of analysis and depth (more american style journalism than European and British journalism) as well as her flagrant bias, were unusual to read in The Guardian, and were matched only by the bias and the spin of Al-Jazeera in their coverage of Syria.
Katherine Marsh might be the cause of the 'arrest' of Dorothy Parvaz, the Al-Jazeera reporter who disappeared after landing in Syria on April 29th or she might be Parvaz. Clearly the Syrian authorities must have been infuriated by Marsh's reporting from Damascus. They must be desperately searching for Marsh's real identity.
It is of course pure speculation to assume that Parvaz and Marsh can be the same person. But let's imagine a situation where Marsh, fearing a crackdown from the regime, leaves Syria for few days to reenter it as Dorothy Parvaz, official reporter for Al-Jazeera. Or let's assume that Parvaz's arrival to Damascus while the regime is cracking down on hostile reporters is either bad judgement or a provocation from Al-Jazeera since Al-Jazeera could rely on anonymous sources and on Katherine Marsh who has been steadily reporting from Damascus.
Here are some elements:
Her page at Journalisted does not list her articles published in The Guardian between April 25th and April 30th.
This is how Journalisted works (why some articles can be missing is at the end of the page)...
Her articles continue to appear in The Guardian but this doesn't mean anything. To protect her, The Guardian can present articles written in the same way since her signature is a pseudonym.
I hope Dorothy Parvaz is OK. I hope that, if she turns out to be the Katherine Marsh of The Guardian, that the Baath regime won't be stupid enough to make of this journalist a cause célèbre. After all, katherine Marsh's reporting is full of bias and incitement, to cover for the lack of analysis and it is not received well by readers, except for the security shooting the army personnel story posted on April 12th which was linked to 39 times. However, blog links to her articles dropped dramatically after her story was proved to be wrong. Each news channel has its own strategy to attract audience, Al-Jazeera's specialty during wars is to provoke governments and by doing so to appear as an information hero Al-Jazeera: it also makes for a good publicity. And while the Qatari channel's direction has its hands tied by the Gulf monarchies that host and finance its operations making it no different from other news channels in the Arab world, they strive to use their journalists in spectacular missions to enhance the image of their journalistic independence. Remember the journalist in Baghdad shot by US forces from a helicopter on a roof building? And the 'Control Room' documentary that followed?
Well, Al-Jazeera is no hero, they have adopted the official line and politics of Gulf monarchies and are praised for their coverage of Lybia, Yemen and Syria by no other than US senator John McCain. Their bias in covering the recent Arab uprisings is well documented now. Dorothy Parvaz must be liberated and Al-Jazeera prevented from spinning its image as defender of Human rights and press freedom only outside Gulf monarchies. I hope Syrian authorities understand, that by keeping Parvaz, they are serving Al-Jazeera's spin.