Tuesday, August 16, 2005

The Only News Is The Body Count

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Well... maybe people are going to wake up and hold the old media responsible, after all. It seems that some local news outlets are starting to wonder why the AP isn't providing them with any REAL news from the war.

[[ Rosemary Goudreau, the editorial page editor of The Tampa Tribune, has received the same e-mail message a dozen times over the last year.

"Did you know that 47 countries have re-established their embassies in Iraq?" the anonymous polemic asks, in part. "Did you know that 3,100 schools have been renovated?"

"Of course we didn't know!" the message concludes. "Our media doesn't tell us!"

Ms. Goudreau's newspaper, like most dailies in America, relies largely on The Associated Press for its coverage of the Iraq war. So she finally forwarded the e-mail message to Mike Silverman, managing editor of The A.P., asking if there was a way to check these assertions and to put them into context. Like many other journalists, Mr. Silverman had also received a copy of the message.

"The bottom-line question was, people wanted to know if we're making progress in Iraq," Ms. Goudreau said, and the A.P. articles were not helping to answer that question.

"It was uncomfortable questioning the A.P., knowing that Iraq is such a dangerous place," she said. "But there's a perception that we're not telling the whole story."

Mr. Silverman said in an interview that he was aware of that perception. "Other editors said they get calls from readers who are hearing stories from returning troops of the good things they have accomplished while there, and readers find that at odds with the generally gloomy portrayal in the papers of what's going on in Iraq," he said.

For example, she said, the editors understood that it was much easier to add up the number of dead than to determine how many hospitals received power on a particular day or how many schools were built.

Mr. Silverman said the wire service was covering Iraq "as accurately as we can" while "also trying to keep our people out of harm's way."

Ms. Goudreau, for one, found the discussion useful. By the end, she said, editors were acknowledging that even in their own hometowns, "we're more likely to focus on people who are killed than on the positive news out of a school.
]] Here's the whole story, if you're interested: LINK to story.

Just so I'm clear on this... it's dangerous in Iraq, so we're going to stick to writing only about dead Americans- even though we are well aware that there are countless hundreds/thousands of good stories out there...?

Okay... well, I can understand that.

But George W. Bush and the chickenhawk neocons are the cowards...

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2 Comments:

Anonymous Tsar Lazar said...

"It was uncomfortable questioning the A.P., knowing that Iraq is such a dangerous place," she said. "But there's a perception that we're not telling the whole story."

A very well-justified perception. The profound cluelessness of the MSM leaves me numb sometimes. Sheesh, I can't even come up with a decent comment on this one...

Pomoze Bog.

Tsar Lazar

16/8/05 23:50  
Blogger kmg said...

What the hell can any of us say in the face of this...?

Seriously... what?

17/8/05 01:15  

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