Taking on bad media coverage

For some reason, everything that caught my eye today seems to be about the media. First, let's start with the bitch-slapping, if only because it's more fun.

If you missed Nicholas Kristof's stinging rebuke of his peers for doing such a shoddy job of covering the genocide in Sudan -- well, click here right now. It's about time someone pointed out that a TV network with the resources to send Diane Sawyer to Africa to interview Brad Pitt ought to have a permanent bureau in Darfur.

According to monitoring by the Tyndall Report, ABC News had a total of 18 minutes of the Darfur genocide in its nightly newscasts all last year - and that turns out to be a credit to Peter Jennings. NBC had only 5 minutes of coverage all last year, and CBS only 3 minutes - about a minute of coverage for every 100,000 deaths. In contrast, Martha Stewart received 130 minutes of coverage by the three networks.
On a related note, my pal Jessica Clark over at In These Times points out that the media has not done much better when it comes to issues closer to home. But instead of just pointing out the obvious, she's compiled a great list of questions reporters should be asking the White House about Rove/Plame -- and more importantly, questions readers should be asking reporters. And all of it comes with a handy-dandy list of email addresses of the top journalists in the nation.

So you can use the same email addresses to take them to task for all the other instances of bad coverage.

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