News Coverage of Iraq War Plummets
Posted on May 31, 2008
If ever there was required reading, this article by Sherry Ricchiardi in the American Journalism Review would be it. News coverage about the Iraq war, whether measured in column inches or broadcast minutes, by American news outlets is becoming a mere blip on the proverbial radar, even as lives and resources are still lost every day.
American Journalism Review:
Armando Acuna, public editor of the Sacramento Bee, turned a Sunday column into a public flogging for both his editors and the nation’s news media. They had allowed the third-longest war in American history to slip off the radar screen, and he had the numbers to prove it.
The public also got a scolding for its meager interest in a controversial conflict that is costing taxpayers about $12.5 billion a month, or nearly $5,000 a second, according to some calculations. In his March 30 commentary, Acuna noted: “There’s enough shame..for everyone to share.”
He had watched stories about Iraq move from 1A to the inside pages of his newspaper, if they ran at all. He understood the editors’ frustration over how to handle the mind-numbing cycles of violence and complex issues surrounding Operation Iraqi Freedom. “People feel powerless about this war,” he said in an interview in April.
Acuna knew the Sacramento Bee was not alone.
AP photo / Gerald Herbert
The man behind the plan: President Bush gestures while posing for photos with troops during his visit to the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, Calif., last April.