As Surge Succeeds– Iraq Coverage Declines 92% In One Year

UPDATE: (Monday June 23) The New York Times is reporting on this news today, via Instapundit.
The fact that it took them a month to report on this basically proves the point of the study in the first place.
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Democracy Project analyzes a recent report published at the American Journalism Review titled: “Whatever Happened to Iraq?

In a media shocker…
This past year Iraq has disappeared from the front pages of the nation’s newspapers and from the nightly network newscasts.

Network news devoted to Iraq dropped from 23% to 3% (92% decline) compared to last year:

Cable news dedicated to Iraq dropped even further from 24% to 1% over last year:

Print news dedicated to Iraq dropped 70% over last year.

The American Journalism Review reported:

During the first 10 weeks of 2007, Iraq accounted for 23 percent of the newshole for network TV news. In 2008, it plummeted to 3 percent during that period. On cable networks it fell from 24 percent to 1 percent, according to a study by the Project for Excellence in Journalism.

The numbers also were dismal for the country’s dailies. By Acuna’s count, during the first three months of this year, front-page stories about Iraq in the Bee were down 70 percent from the same time last year. Articles about Iraq once topped the list for reader feedback. By mid-2007, “Their interest just dropped off; it was noticeable to me,” says the public editor.

A daily tracking of 65 newspapers by the Associated Press confirms a dip in page-one play throughout the country. In September 2007, the AP found 457 Iraq-related stories (154 by the AP) on front pages, many related to a progress report delivered to Congress by Gen. David Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Iraq. Over the succeeding months, that number fell to as low as 49. A spike in March 2008 was largely due to a rash of stories keyed to the conflict’s fifth anniversary, according to AP Senior Managing Editor Mike Silverman.

Also, the broadcast networks have devoted less time to Iraq as the war goes on and there is less bad news to report:
By late 2007 after the surge started to take hold in Iraq the TV news coverage dropped to 1,000 minutes.

The TV networks are no less biased:

TV news was a vivid indicator of the declining interest. The three broadcast networks’ nightly newscasts devoted more than 4,100 minutes to Iraq in 2003 and 3,000 in 2004. That leveled off to 2,000 annually. By late 2007, it was half that, according to Andrew Tyndall, who monitors the nightly news (tyndallreport.com).

Democracy Project examines the report and concludes that the coverage on Iraq has more to do with politics than with the actual situation on the ground.

Related… Don’t expect to see this on the American networks:
The following is a translation by Iraqi-American Haider Ajina from the Iraqi Buratha News:

(Iraqi Buratha News)

Baghdad Parks & Recreation department Invites families to visit Abu-Nawass Gardens

Baghdad Parks & Recreation department invited residents to visit Abu-Nawass gardens and spend lovely moments amongst its beauty. Now that they have been renovated and developed with utilities and recreation equipment. The spokes person for the office said in a press release today: ‘The Resafah office of the department has completed development and improvement of an area adjacent to the Tigris and planted large areas of lawn and evergreens, seasonal trees, as well as a modern irrigation system. We added to the gardens a number of play grounds, picnic areas and other recreational amenities, with plenty modern lighting, water fountains (decorative type) and parking areas. He added that the Roads Department has improved Abu- Nawas street which leads to the Karadeh area by fixing the road, pouring side walks and painting curbs. The center divides have been replanted and the statues of Abu-Nawass and Shahraiar (in the middle of the park) have been restored.

He added, “Our goal is to keep this tourist and recreation area beautiful and clean. Thus we are strictly enforcing no littering and have provided many permanent and portable garbage cans with litter patrols in the area. The office started inspections for the near by stores and restaurants which are plentiful in the area. To make sure all garbage is properly disposed off and collected. We have also bought new garbage trucks to make sure that all garbage is collected daily.

Haider Ajina comments:

This are was very popular when I grew up in Iraq. Especially in the warmer months. Walking along the Tigris in the late after noon till late night and enjoying the cool air is an activity many Baghdadis enjoy and seek. Many fish restaurants (Barbequed on a stick) and cafes line the river front on the Resafah side. It appears that this are is experiencing a strong come back. Hence the rhetorical question is this. When do people go out and enjoy the outside and eat out etc? When they feel physically safe, secure about their incomes and earnings and pleased with their surroundings. This is no surprise. All the hard work and sacrifices our men and women endured a long with the Iraqis we trained and still training is providing for a substantially safer Iraq with prosperity and security in its future.

Regards,
Haider Ajina

Related Update: Pelosi credits the “goodwill of Iran” for the success of the surge.

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