Monday, August 15

AP Iraq Coverage -- Even Editors are complaining

I wrote yesterday about the AP coverage of Fidel Castro's birthday, so I found it interesting that Drudge Report would feature a link to a NY Times story on the poor Iraq coverage. It seems the readers nationwide are complaining to mainstream newspapers, who happen to rely a bit to much on the Associated Press.

Now, for editors (who research shows tend to be left-leaning) to start complaining about the narrow coverage and excessive focus on death tolls by the AP, you know its got to be bad!

Here is my suggestions to the journalism world--create a new independent press wire service that gives a more rounded coverage of world events. The AP has lost it's credibility.

Rosemary Goudreau, the editorial page editor of The Tampa Tribune, has received the same e-mail message a dozen times over the last year.

"Did you know that 47 countries have re-established their embassies in Iraq?" the anonymous polemic asks, in part. "Did you know that 3,100 schools have been renovated?"

"Of course we didn't know!" the message concludes. "Our media doesn't tell us!"

Ms. Goudreau's newspaper, like most dailies in America, relies largely on The Associated Press for its coverage of the Iraq war. So she finally forwarded the e-mail message to Mike Silverman, managing editor of The A.P., asking if there was a way to check these assertions and to put them into context. Like many other journalists, Mr. Silverman had also received a copy of the message.

Ms. Goudreau's query prompted an unusual discussion last month in New York at a regular meeting of editors whose newspapers are members of The Associated Press. Some editors expressed concern that a kind of bunker mentality was preventing reporters in Iraq from getting out and explaining the bigger picture beyond the daily death tolls.

Interestingly enough, the story goes into excuses as to why it seems the AP is having such a hard time covering anything besides death tolls. I think its all a big lie. Liberal reporters will go out of their way, and face any danger to expose a story that will make the current Administration look bad. I am sure they can face some danger to get the full stories, the successes and human interest stories, to the readers.
Mr. Silverman said the wire service was covering Iraq "as accurately as we can" while "also trying to keep our people out of harm's way."

"The main obstacle we face," he said, "is the severe limitation on our movement and our ability to get out and report. It's very confining for our staff to go into Baghdad and have to spend most of their time on the fifth floor of the Palestine Hotel," which is home to most of the press corps. The hotel was struck by a tank shell in 2003, killing two journalists.