“The Media Has Dropped the Ball on This Conflict”

By SteveK Comment

ware_6-11.JPGThe New York Observer has a wide-ranging article about the media coverage of the Iraq War, as told through the eyes of many of the correspondents who have spent significant time in Baghdad.

“As the American press corps gets older, wearier — and simultaneously younger and more untested as the veterans leave — there are truths that some of the reporters of Baghdad have learned about the war in Iraq,” reports the Observer.

CNN correspondent Michael Ware is critical of the lack of focus on reporting from the region. “This is the Vietnam War of our generation. This conflict is going to have repercussions that far exceed that of an Indo-Chinese, essentially, civil war,” he says. “Yet for a litany of reasons, which may or may not be legitimate, from cost to security to audience fatigue, the media has dropped the ball on this conflict. It is a tragic indictment on the Fourth Estate.”

kealy_6-11.JPGCourtney Kealy of FNC has seen the American public turn on the reporters and turn off the coverage: “People say to me, what’s the real story in Iraq? I say, read the books that have come out and won Pulitzers. Look at my friends’ articles. Look at the stories I’ve done. They’re not looking, and they’re not reading; they don’t want to.”

After the jump, Baghdad correspondents who say part of the reason for the lack of coverage is that good news is coming from the region.

ABC News correspondent Terry McCarthy says the drop in violence gets less attention. “A drip, drip story that’s getting a little bit better day by day doesn’t make a headline,” he says. “We have to struggle to get more stories on the air. We have to do more feature-type stuff. The news of the day is not really here anymore.”

Despite having “more room to report,” because of the drop in violence, it doesn’t necessarily translate to more room in the newscasts.

“I was walking around the city doing interviews, without any kind of security protection or back up at all. That felt great,” says NBC correspondent Richard Engel. “People are getting out more. You see more people on the streets going to markets. When I go to do interviews, I can stay longer.”