Larry Elder Takes On the Media For Ignoring Iraq War

Now that we are winning the War in Iraq, the media has devoted up to 92% less time on the story. Conservative Larry Elder discussed this on his show on FOX News this past weekend:

So, is Larry Elder making this up or is he onto something?

A recent study at American Journalism Review found that 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).

But, of course, this has nothing to do with politics, right?

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