Monday, August 24, 2009

Iraq: The Incredible Shrinking (News) Story... Interactively Charting a 92% Drop In Reporting From 2007-2009

I quote myself, from June 30 2009, Iraq's "Sovereignty Day":
Iraq is KIND OF for Iraqis - Technically US troops are OUT of Iraq's cities (On a more circumspect note, when searched, Google said "Did you mean to search for: US troops are OUT of Iran's cities") today, however US Troops WILL remain in and around the cities of Iraq on 'standby' until 'requested' by Iraqi commanders.

Expect those incidents to be un-reported to the US press
, who will most likely NOT be present in any manner where they could physically observe US troop movements themselves, or for that matter be aware of ANY activity by the 132,000 'contractors' (cf. mercenaries) remaining in Iraq. In Da' Buffalo's opinion, the dirtiest part of the Iraq war is just beginning... under the radar, and without press observation, even as the US appears to be withdrawing. [Source]
More today on that suppression of factual information:
Man who sold Iraq war now vetting embedded journos

"A public relations firm that organized the opposition to Saddam Hussein during the 1990s and “coerced” journalists during the run-up to the Iraq war is now vetting at least some embedded journalists in war zones to keep out those who have a history of writing negative stories about the US military, a new report claims."

“Any reporter seeking to embed with US forces is subject to a background profile by The Rendon Group..."
H/t: Minstrel Boy
Rendon Group is the organization that staged the Saddam Hussein statue 'pulldown' in a nearly vacant Firdoz Square during the first days of our occupation of Baghdad, and supplied the flags Kuwaitis waved at us when we 'liberated' their country after Iraq's invasion over a territorial violation later to be found factual, Kuwait's 'slant drilling' into the neutral zone between their land and Iraq.
More on Rendon Group HERE

(Click the image for the interactive, customizable version of this graph, courtesy of The Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism)

The sidebar copy:
92% - Drop in Iraq coverage from the beginning of 2007 to the middle of 2009

June 30 was declared “National Sovereignty Day” in Iraq as U.S. soldiers pulled out from cities there. The date marked a major milestone in the six-year war, and for the week of June 29-July 5, 2009, events inside Iraq filled 5.6% of the newshole, the highest level of media attention to that subject this year. The situation inside Iraq is one aspect of the war that PEJ tracks along with the Iraq policy debate and the impact of the war on the U.S. home front. When all three Iraq threads are combined, the story filled 6.6% of the newshole from June 29-July 5.

Yet last week’s jump in coverage runs counter to a long and clear trend. Media attention to the war has declined dramatically since the News Coverage Index began measuring it back in January 2007. In the first quarter of that year, with Congress and President Bush locked in a battle for control of Iraq policy, the war was the top story, accounting for 22.3% of the newshole. By the second quarter of 2009 (which runs through July 5), it had declined by more than 90%—to only 1.7% of the newshole.

Coverage of the war has steadily dropped as the domestic debate over Iraq policy abated, the violence in that country diminished and the U.S. de-escalated its role in the past few years. For all of 2007, the three Iraq storylines filled 15.5% of the newshole, with the bulk of attention focused on the Washington war debate. (This thread filled 7.8% of the overall newshole). In 2008, Iraq coverage plummeted to only 3.6% of the overall newshole, with the biggest component (2.1%) focused on events within Iraq. In the first half of 2009, attention to Iraq fell even further, to just 2% of the newshole, with slightly more than half of that (1.1%) devoted to the events inside Iraq.

Tricia Sartor and Dana Page of PEJ

Note: *Q2 2009 runs through July 5, 2009 for this report

Date Posted: July 9, 2009 Source, Pew Center

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