14 November 2007

And the Beat Goes On

According to Investor's Business Daily (WTF?) Iraq news coverage has dropped almost as fast as the casualty rate.

For the first time in months — in fact, since the U.S. troop surge was put in place in June — coverage of U.S. policy in Iraq does not rank among the top 10 news stories as tracked by the Project for Excellence in Journalism.

The percentage of news stories devoted to events in Iraq, moreover, has shrunk to 3%, the lowest since September and barely half the 2007 average. In only three other weeks this year has Iraq coverage been so scanty.


I hate the American media. You can't tell me this is driven by advertising revenue or what will sell papers.

6 Comments:

Anonymous Bill McD said...

Sure I can. It's driven by what will sell papers. See?

The news out of Iraq isn't bad enough or shocking enough to contend with the economic disaster slowly unfolding here in the states. Between the rising cost of fuel (and through it, everything else), and the 'still-in-denial' massive unrecoverable debt facing a significant number of major financial institutions (Chase, among others), yeah, there's a lot more to scare and alarm people with right now.

Not to mention the political horse-race the media just loves to try to claim to know who's winning...

1:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Perhaps it's driven by what the leftists at those instutions THINK will sell papers. The sliding circulation figures would be just one more inconvenient fact which doesn't fit the narrative. In the meantime, "Maybe if we ignore it, it'll go away".

--Laserlight

5:23 PM  
Anonymous Bill McD said...

The declining circulation figures have absolutely nothing to do with what's in the papers. Honestly, the decline of newspapers has been going on for over 30 years. TV news began it, and the internet is continuing it. Most people either don't want to bother reading or don't have time to, and many of those who do find it far more convenient to do so online, where you can get to a dozen different outlets and read the version of the story you prefer.

Trying to conflate the decline of the newspaper with left/right ideology is like trying to say that the phonograph and vinyl records would still be popular in every home, if not for those damned Republicans!

4:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bill, when I was involved in a newspaper startup a couple of years ago, our market surveys showed a significant percentage of people were not getting the established paper in our market because of that paper's obvious political leanings. I don't recall percentages, and some people who couldn't stomach the liberal local paper got a conservative regional paper instead, but some people just didn't get a paper at all.

I'll also agree that part of the reason for print paper's decline is blogs and online sources; however, I think the rise of blogs as news sources has at least in part been because of the unreliability of the papers.

Having written news stories myself, I know that it's harder than you'd think to write unbiased stories, even if you're trying. But a lot of people feel that the MSM is, to a significant extent, not trying.

--laserlight

5:29 PM  
Anonymous Bill McD said...

Between

I don't recall percentages, and some people who couldn't stomach the liberal local paper got a conservative regional paper instead, but some people just didn't get a paper at all.

and

I'll also agree that part of the reason for print paper's decline is blogs and online sources;

you're missing the far more pervasive, far more 'in everyone's homes' and older cause. The one that is far more powerful than the internet, still, by it's very nature: Television. As I said originally, this decline starts with television. Reading is active. You have to engage your brain. TV, on the other hand, allows for passivity. Tune the evening news in and sit back. Heck, put a TV near the table and focus on dinner while you 'get informed'.

It takes less time, less effort, and hey, if it was important, the TV news would tell us, right?

People who are disposed toward one ideology or the other for their news sourcing these days have the option of Fox News or NBC (which seems to come the closest to actual liberal media, and not just the current 'they disagree with the preznit, they're liberal' nonsense).

But disposed in one direction or the other, or not at all, the ability of people to feel like they're informed while remaining complete passive, spoon-fed whatever News Corp, or GE, or Disney Corp feel like putting on the air as 'news', is really the main thing killing newspaper circulation: people don't feel they NEED the papers. The newspaper no longer delivers them their news. So why pay for it?

The internet is merely perpetuating the trend.

1:11 PM  
Anonymous YuriPup said...

At 3% do you think the conservative papers are giving much more coverage to Iraq than the liberal papers?

You are just seeing the reflection of the old saw "If it bleeds, it leads."

3:29 PM  

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