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Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Another Narrow MRC 'Study'
Topic: Media Research Center

A July 21 Media Research Center "Media Reality Check" by Rich Noyes asserts: "A new study by the Media Research Center finds that network evening news coverage of Iraq has fallen 65 percent in the past twelve months — a mere 429 stories so far this year, compared to 1,227 on the ABC, CBS and NBC evening news shows during the first six and a half months of 2007." But like previous MRC "studies" on Iraq war coverage, it's too narrowly focused and based on assumptions it doesn't support.

Noyes asserts that "as the troop surge has dramatically succeeded, the Big Three broadcast networks have shown little interest in documenting how the U.S. military is saving Iraq and achieving a signal victory in the war against terrorism." This baselessly suggests that the only reason media coverage of Iraq decreased was because "the troop surge has dramatically succeeded." In fact, as we've documented, there are numerous other reasons for the decrease in coverage -- tight newsroom budgets, a focus on the election -- that Noyes does not mention.

The MRC once again frames its study narrowly, focusing only on the evening news shows on ABC, CBS and NBC and ignoring cable news coverage. As we've also noted, most similar MRC studies do the same thing in an apparent attempt to shield Fox News from scrutiny -- indeed, as the Pew Research Center has detailed, Fox News in 2007 "spent less time on the war in Iraq" than CNN and MSNBC, and it was "more oriented to crime, celebrity and the media than its rivals."

Posted by Terry K. at 1:39 AM EDT

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