War? What War?

According to the Project for Excellence in Journalism, coverage of war in Iraq filled a fourth of the news hole in January 2007 but now only fills 4 percent."Five years later, the United States remains at war in Iraq, but there are days when it would be hard to tell from a quick look at television news, newspapers and the Internet," observes New York Times reporter Richard Pérez-Peña. "Media attention on Iraq began to wane after the first months of fighting, but as recently as the middle of last year, it was still the most-covered topic. Since then, Iraq coverage by major American news sources has plummeted, to about one-fifth of what it was last summer, according to the Project for Excellence in Journalism."

The past week saw a dramatic escalation in violence in Iraq and rising civilian deaths, prompting analysts to warn that "Iraqis may be about to witness a new phase in the cycle of violence ... intra-Shi'ite bloodletting that could tear Iraq apart and more deeply embroil U.S. forces." But even these developments have barely cast a media ripple.

The Iraq war has also been losing ground for attention on the internet, according to a recent report which shows that "the war in Iraq continues to decline in search interest, down 120 percent over the past three and a half years," while interest turns to topics such as Paris Hilton, Ashley Alexandra Dupre, Heath Ledger and the latest YouTube video.

U.S. Military Ponders Hiring or Hacking Bloggers

"Hiring a block of bloggers to verbally attack a specific person or promote a specific message may be worth considering," suggests a 2006 study written for the U.S. military's Special Operations Command.


U.S. News Media in Quite a State

"The state of the American news media in 2008 is more troubled than a year ago," opens the latest "State of the News Media" report from the Project for Excellence in Journalism. Among the major findings is that the Internet is not yet the democratizing media force many hoped for.


Great Wall of Silence About Tibetan Protests

Protest in Northeastern Tibet "China has begun to fight back against criticism of its handling of the Tibetan protests," during which protesters have been killed, with a "sustained publicity offensive as well as blocking foreign broadcasters and websites and denying journalists access to areas of unrest," reports The Guardian.


Adios, Online Privacy

The National Security Agency, once known for its skill in eavesdropping on the world's telephone calls, is adapting to the times by "focusing on widespread monitoring of e-mail messages and text messages, recording of Web browsing, and other forms of electronic data-mining, all done without court supervision," reports Declan McCu


Mainstream Media, MoveOn, Ignored Iraq Veterans' 'Winter Soldier' Investigation

Kelly Dougherty, the former sergeant who is the executive director of Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW), announced on March 13th the start of the group's three-day Winter Soldier: Iraq and Afghanistan investigation into the United States' conduct of its wars, featuring testimony of scores of anti-war vet



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