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December 4, 2007

MRC Study: As Iraq Successes Rise, Networks Interest Falls

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Alexandria, VA - A new Media Research Center study documents that as conditions in Iraq improved over the course of the last three months, ABC, CBS and NBC’s reporting on it decreased.

After over three years of the three major networks offering extensive coverage of the failings in Iraq, and their placing a skeptical spin on General Patraeus’s September 10th surge progress report, their zeal for reporting on Iraq declined as the violence and casualties did.

Each month, stories from and about Iraq have been less frequent: 178 in September, 108 in October and only 68 in November. It was nearly a month before even one of the three (ABC World News on October 1st) ran a positive report. The CBS Evening News has been particularly egregious; in three months, they have proffered only three positive stories, one from its Iraqi reporter.

MRC President L. Brent Bozell is not surprised.

“The networks have spent the last three years reporting the bad news in Iraq with such apparent relish, often to the detriment of the good that was there. As things improve and there is less of their preferred negativity to deliver, they are delivering less.

“If things continue to improve in Iraq, we will undoubtedly see even less coverage from the big three networks and find ourselves thinking of 68 stories a month as the good old days.”

To schedule an interview with the study’s author Rich Noyes, please contact Tim Scheiderer (x. 126) or Colleen O’Boyle (x. 122) at 703.683.5004. To view the study, see www.mrc.org.


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