Commentary and links relating to media coverage of war; both before, during, and after.

William A. Dorman is Professor of Government at California State University, Sacramento, and has taught a course in War, Peace and the Mass Media since 1970.

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War, Peace, and the Mass Media
Wednesday, July 23, 2003  
Readers Want Press to Cover All U.S. Casualties
Article on Media and Iraq Draws Big Response

By Greg Mitchell

JULY 22, 2003

A news analysis that I wrote last week, posted at E&P Online on Thursday, has drawn the heaviest e-mail response of any article from E&P in the nearly four years I have worked for the magazine.

The article charged the media with providing a misleading sense of the recent U.S. death toll in Iraq. The press routinely highlights "combat" deaths and downplays all deaths, including accidents, suicides, and other causes (which vastly outnumber the deaths from hostile fire). For the rest of the story on the response to Mitchell's article, see Editor & Publisher

10:38 AM

Tuesday, July 22, 2003  
Truth behind those 'sexed up' claims
Claire Cozens
Tuesday July 22, 2003
The Guardian

At the last count, the phrase "sexed up" had been used in 545 articles, formed the basis of 22 newspaper headlines and been the subject of countless readers' letters since Andrew Gilligan's infamous story [dealing with the Blair administration's alleged inflation of claims about weapons of mass destruction in Sadaam's Iraq] broke on May 29.

Within hours it had become a favourite phrase of writers and subeditors and entered the journalistic vernacular. But Gilligan never actually uttered the phrase he has become famous for - in fact, the first mention came from John Humphrys.

Gilligan had quoted his source as saying the Iraq dossier "was transformed in the week before it was published to make it sexier". Little more than an hour later Humphrys was quizzing the armed forces minister, Adam Ingram, on the allegation that the report "was produced, it went to No 10, it was then sent back to be 'sexed up' a little". For the rest of a fascinating glimpse into how fiction becomes fact in journalism, see Guardian Unlimited

7:41 AM

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