Media: War in Iraq a "Lifestyle Issue," Not News


At the St. Louis Post-Dispatch website, a recent Editor’s Desk response to criticism of the paper’s Iraq coverage wasn’t much better than no response at all.

A retired Globe-Democrat staffer called to criticize our day-in and day-out reporting on the war in Iraq. Not enough, not prominent enough, she said.

Five years into the war, is an 8-inch story in the middle of Page A5 enough?
Points for snark, none for actually addressing the question on “day-in and day-out reporting.” The editor goes on to recount the obvious - “war news is more likely to be inside the main news section than on the front page” - as though the mere fact supplied its own explanation. Again:

In terms of news and interest, are those developments in Iraq worth greater display? Obviously, our news editors and page designers last night thought not.
Yes, obviously.



The reader who criticized the paper - a former staffer at the long-dead Globe-Democrat, a conservative rival to the P-D - charged the Post-Dispatch with liberal bias. That charge doesn’t hold water: you’d think that a media source run by flaming liberals would be more likely rather than less to run Iraq news.


The matter of unsatisfactory coverage of the war from media outlets in general, both print and electronic, is broader than the stories that appear - or don’t - in any single newspaper, regardless of ideological slant. A recent Zogby study commissioned by the Poynter Institute revealed than while 75 percent of those polled felt “well-informed” about Iraq, the majority were still not satisfied with the coverage they were getting:

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

Close
alternet logo

Tough Times

Demand honest news. Help support AlterNet and our mission to keep you informed during this crisis.