Subject FAIR MEDIA STUDY Written 611 pm Jan 20, 1991 by mideastdesk in cdpmideast.media Fo
Subject: FAIR MEDIA STUDY
Written 6:11 pm Jan 20, 1991 by mideastdesk in cdp:mideast.media
For Immediate Release -- Jan. 16, 1991
Contact: Jeff Cohen (acct: fair)
FAIR (Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting) Media Survey Results
SURVEY SHOWS ANTI-WAR MOVEMENT MARGINALIZED BY NETWORKS
A new FAIR survey shows that nightly network news programs
largely ignored public efforts to oppose the Bush
administration's military policies in the Persian Gulf.
FAIR examined five months of TV coverage of the Gulf crisis, from
the first commitment of U.S. troops on August 8, 1990, until Jan.
3, 1991. Of a total 2855 minutes devoted to the Gulf crisis--
nearly two full days of coverage--only 29 minutes, roughly one
percent, dealt with popular opposition to the U.S. military
build-up in the Gulf.
FAIR executive director Jeff Cohen commented (Jan. 16): "Now that
a war is actually starting, the networks are finally noticing the
anti-war movement, but the coverage is often no more than a blur
of street action -- from mass marches to the flag-burnings of the
fringe. Missing from the news are coherent statements from
national peace leaders explaining their positions."
Cohen continued: "The debate going on in the country is much
broader than the one in Congress. Polls show the public supports
a Mideast peace conference or a compromise of the Iraq/Kuwait
border dispute as ways of resolving the crisis -- positions not
featured on TV networks fixated on official Washington. The full
spectrum of thought about the war deserves coverage."
FAIR's five-month survey counted all stories about protests,
peace organizations, conscientious objectors, religious
dissenters and anti-war veterans, as well as comments by the
President and others about the anti-war movement. None of the
foreign policy experts associated with the peace movement -- such
as Edward Said, Noam Chomsky or the scholars at the Institute for
Policy Studies -- appeared on any nightly network news program
during the period scrutinized. While stories on Jesse Jackson's
trip to Iraq were counted as anti-war coverage, none of these
stories included any quotes from Jackson.
The survey found that ABC devoted 7 minutes (.7 percent of its
total Gulf coverage) and CBS devoted 8.3 minutes (.8 percent) to
public opposition to the Gulf policy. NBC's 13.3 minutes of
coverage amounted to 1.5 percent of total Gulf coverage.
FAIR has previously released in-depth studies of Nightline and
MacNeil/Lehrer, documenting a narrow, pro-establishment guest
list. FAIR's recent analysis of the experts featured by
Nightline and the NewsHour in the first month of the crisis
showed that both programs relied on current and former government
officials and largely excluded any questioning of U.S. military
End of text from cdp:mideast.media
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