The Pew Research Center runs the Project of Excellence in Journalism (PEJ). The PEJ’s News Index covers all stories in the U.S. press from print journalism to TV to radio to the internet. From November 3 to November 23, 2008 they found that Iraq was in the top 10 news stories two of the three weeks. Perhaps because of the Thanksgiving holiday they did not cover the last part of the month.
For the first full week of November Iraq was not in the top 10. The U.S. elections and economic crisis dominated the media landscape, accounting for six of the top 10 stories. From November 10-16 however, the war reached number 7 with 2% of the overall coverage. Most of the reporting was on violence in Iraq, such as an Iraqi soldier who killed two American G.I.s. In the next week, November 17-23, Iraq dropped one to number 8, but stayed at 2%. The major story was Iraq’s parliament passing the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) that will determine the future military and diplomatic relations between the two countries.
November’s coverage of Iraq was on par with the previous reporting from September 29 to November 2. During that time period the war was in the top ten four out of five weeks. This was an increase from the rest of the year when Iraq made it into the top stories on average two out of every four weeks. With the recession getting worse and the new Obama administration planning on putting more emphasis upon the war in Afghanistan, it is probably unlikely that Iraq reporting will go up anytime soon unless something dramatic happens there.
For more on U.S. press coverage of Iraq see:
The Decline of Reporting on Iraq
Iraq News Coverage Update I
Monthly Media Coverage of Iraq From June 2 to July 9, 2008
Monthly Media Coverage of Iraq From July 7 to August 3
Monthly Media Coverage of Iraq From July 28 to August 31, 2008
Monthly Media Coverage of Iraq From September 1 to September 28, 2008
Monthly Media Coverage of Iraq From September 29 to November 2, 2008
Dagher, Sam, “Iraqi Soldier Reportedly Kills 2 G.I.’s,” New York Times, 11/12/08
Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism, “PEJ News Coverage Index: November 3-9, 2008, In Election Week, Media Pivots From Race To Rahm,” 11/10/08
- “PEJ News Coverage Index: November 10-16, 2008, Post-Election Narrative, A Tale Of Two Women,” 11/17/08
- “PEJ News Coverage Index: November 17-23, 2008, Cars And Appointments Dominate The News,” 11/24/08
Robertson, Campbell and Farrell, Stephen, “Pact, Approved in Iraq, Sets Time for U.S. Pullout,” New York Times, 11/16/08