Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Gone in 30 seconds

Ralph Peters has a column in the NY Post today entitled, Success in Iraq: A Media Blackout

It begins:

May 20, 2008 -- DO we still have troops in Iraq? Is there still a conflict over there?

If you rely on the so-called mainstream media, you may have difficulty answering those questions these days. As Iraqi and Coalition forces pile up one success after another, Iraq has magically vanished from the headlines.

Want a real "inconvenient truth?" Progress in Iraq is powerful and accelerating.

But that fact isn't helpful to elite media commissars and cadres determined to decide the presidential race over our heads. How dare our troops win? Even worse, Iraqi troops are winning. Daily.

You won't see that above the fold in The New York Times. And forget the Obama-intoxicated news networks - they've adopted his story line that the clock stopped back in 2003.

Peters goes on to document some of the recent coverage and detail some of the recent successes.

Interestingly, last week, a Pew Research released a report which included a section on news interest and media coverage.

* 45% of viewers were following news about the economy very closely and the media devoted 5% of its coverage to it.

* 35% of viewers were following news about the 2008 campaign very closely and the media devoted 46% of its coverage to it.

* 29% of viewers were following news about Iraq very closely and the media devoted 1% of its coverage to it.

* 23% of viewers were following news about the cyclone in Burma very closely and the media devoted 15% of its coverage to it.

* The media also devoted 1% of its coverage each to the Microsoft/Yahoo deal and to Jenna Bush’s wedding.

If you had watched an hour of your cable news network of choice last week, you would have seen about 48 minutes of news coverage (subtracting for commercials), which would have included:

* 21 minutes 5 seconds devoted to the 2008 campaign

* 7 minutes 12 seconds devoted to the cyclone in Burma

* 2 minutes 24 seconds devoted to the economy

* 29 seconds devoted to the Microsoft/Yahoo deal

* 29 seconds devoted to Jenna Bush’s wedding

* 29 seconds devoted to Iraq

Getting a half a minute worth of coverage of Iraq for an hour’s worth of couch potatoing? Especially if you read Peters’ article of what those 29 seconds likely included?

Shameful.

MORE: Pew’s Project for Excellence in Journalism covered the Iraq media coverage in an article that is worth reading.

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