For the first time in months Iraq has made it into the top ten news stories for four weeks straight according to the Project for Excellence in Journalism (PEJ). The PEJ News Index covers all media coverage in the U.S., including print, TV (both network and cable), radio, and the internet. From September 1-7, 2008 Iraq was the number 4 story with 2% of all media coverage. That week the top news stories were excerpts from Bob Wodward’s new book The War Within on the Bush Administration and the Iraq war, and the handing over of Anbar province to Iraqi control. From September 8-14 Iraq was the number 8 story, again with 2% of the reporting. The October transfer of the Sons of Iraq in Baghdad to government control, and General David Petraeus’ departure from Iraq to become the head of Central Command were some of the leading stories. In the following week, September 15-21, Iraq was number 6 with 1% of the coverage. Petraeus’ departure, and murder charges against GIs were some of the reasons why. In the last full week of the month Iraq was number 10 with 1% of the reporting again. That week the approval of a new provincial election law was the lead story. In August, July, and June Iraq averaged two of every four weeks per month in the top ten news stories. Despite Iraq’s return to the headlines for September, it never averaged more than 2% of overall coverage. As in previous months, the main story in the American media remains the presidential election and the faltering economy.
For more on reporting on Iraq see:
The Decline of Reporting on Iraq
Iraq News Coverage Update I
CBS/AP, “GIs Face Murder Charges In Iraq Slaying,” 9/17/08
- “Petraeus To Leave Ira On A High Note,” 9/16/08
Farrell, Stephen, “U.S. Spied on Maliki, Book Says, Upsetting Iraq,” New York Times, 9/5/08
Filkins, Dexter, “U.S. Hands Off Pacified Anbar, Once Heart Of The Insurgency,” New York Times, 9/1/08
Goode, Erica, “Iraq Passes Provincial Election Law,” New York Times, 9/24/08
Goode, Erica and al-Husaini, Mudhafer, “U.S. and Iraqi Officials Try to Reassure Citizen Patrols About Transfer,” New York Times, 9/8/08
Luxenberg, Steve, “U.S. Spied on Iraqi Leaders, Book Says,” Washington Post, 9/5/08
Project for Excellence In Journalism, “The Latest Campaign Narrative – ‘It’s The
Economy, Stupid,’ Campaign Coverage Index: September 15-21, 2008,” 9/22/08
- “Media Narrative Whipsaws Between Bailout And Debate, PEJ Campaign Coverage
Index: September 22-28, 2008,” 9/29/08
- “Northern Exposure Still Dominates The News, PEJ Campaign Coverage Index:
September 8-14, 2008,” 9/15/08
- “The Palin Phenomenon Drives Campaign Coverage, PEJ Campaign Coverage Index:
September 1-7, 2008,” 9/8/08
Shanker, Thom and Farrell, Stephen, “Gates Praises Petraeus on Eve of Duty Transfer,” New York Times, 9/15/08
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