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Monday, March 24, 2008

Short Attention Span Theatre - The Press Forgets The War

According to the Project For Excellence in Journalism coverage of the Iraq War have dropped to only 3% of all news stories. Of those stories, here is a breakdown.
  • Daily Violence - 46.9%
  • Other Themes (?) - 21.2%
  • Pessimistic Themes - 15.8%
  • Balanced Themes - 7.8%
  • Optimistic Themes - 4.6%
  • Straight Facts - 3.8%

So much for the rosy coverage of the war.

On the News Hour, journalists are explaining why the press no longer reports on the war.
  • We are running out of interesting ways to tell the story
  • The drama has gone, the Bush Administration policy will not change.
  • This is a long term story that will develop over time and is difficult to report on a daily basis.
  • It's dangerous.
  • We don't want to risk Iraqi lives by reporting on them.
  • It's hard.
  • It's controversial.
  • We're running out of ways to report the story.
  • It's expensive.
  • We'll talk about in November.
  • The public doesn't care.
  • It's the economy stupid.
  • It's the election stupid.
  • It's not bleeding, so it's not leading.

Check tomorrow's transcript of The News Hour with Jim Lehrer and see if I got it right.

For a human side of the war seldom reported, see Anne Garrels' report on young Americans who have voluntarily returned to Iraq, not so much out of patriotism, but compassion for the Iraqi people. It's a shame these people and many like them are so poorly served by mainstream media and our elected leaders. Anne is a bright spot in the dismal landscape of "me too" journalism.

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