Sunday, March 26, 2006

Editors (at Seattle Times) say they strive to offer "all layers" of Iraq war

The Seattle Times: Local News: Editors strive to offer "all layers" of Iraq war

By Mike Fancher

Seattle Times executive editor
Sunday, March 26, 2006

George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld aren't the only ones frustrated with news coverage of the Iraq war. So are some of us at The Seattle Times.

As the war entered its fourth year, the president, vice president and secretary of defense all voiced criticism of how the war is portrayed back home. For example, at his news conference last week, Bush said that 'for every act of violence, there is encouraging progress in Iraq that's hard to capture on the evening news.' Cheney and Rumsfeld both said that media coverage presents a distorted picture of what is happening in Iraq, with too much emphasis on the violence and not enough on signs of progress. All three administration leaders seemed to be making the case that the war's rising unpopularity is driven, at least in part, by how it is being reported.

'We feel a frustration at times, too,' said Mike Stanton, executive news editor. 'We have a sense that a lot more is happening than we are able to report, and I don't like it.'

His statement may well enrage readers who support the war, as well as those who oppose it. The former could see it as an admission of liberal or anti-administration bias, the latter as an attempt to placate conservatives. It is neither.

Stanton said he believes the journalists in Iraq are striving against impossible circumstances to do the best job possible. 'I've got a pretty good nose for bias, and I just don't see it,' said the veteran editor.

'You'd have to be Pollyanna to create an impression that everything is going well over there,' he said. But he accepts that there are positive things happening that aren't being reported.

read rest of the article at Seattle Times


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