From Farai

Parsing Out Iraq and News Coverage

Farai Chideya

On today's show, we covered the new report on Iraq by General David Petraeus, arguing that the troop surge in Iraq has worked. We also had a look at African Americans, military education, and leadership training.

One of our guests was Gregory Black (retired Navy) who runs a site of broad-ranging interest on troops and families.

Meanwhile, I checked out this fascinating "visual map" of the news to see how widely the Iraq news was playing. The surprising (to me) answer: not very widely. BUT (and this is a big caveat) much of the news they chart has been produced the day before. I'm eager to check in tomorrow.

A question: how do you get the news? Network television has been losing audience; the Internet gaining; and radio news, overall, just about holding steady, with a slight audience decrease. How do you find out what's going on in the world?



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I'll say 50 percent of getting my news comes from the Internet. I guess the switch started while in college and working full-time. Even when I was finishing up my graduate work a couple of years ago, majority of my time was spent online for research or communicating with teammates. So it only made sense to get my news via the same channel.

The other 50 percent is dispersed among the various communication channels. I'm one of those unique folks of my generation that still subscribes to a local newspaper even with its declining suscription. The gripe I have with Network news is that there is really no (or less) news but more of celebrity culture.

I mean how many breaking news of Britney, Paris and Lindsey can one take? Now I wouldn't say I don't indulge in the guilty pleasure of seeing some celebrities' craziness once in a while but I don't want such "news" every day. It's like junk food; it's great to satisfy my craving once in a while but having it as a regular part of my diet is useless to my overall health.

Sent by Moji | 4:58 PM | 9-10-2007

I get most of my news from the internet. I very rarely watch network tv.

Sent by Brenda | 5:05 PM | 9-10-2007

My daughter is a high school senior and enrolled in JROTC at school. My concern is not only her having to go to war, but how she would be treated as a women in the military.

Sent by Brenda | 5:09 PM | 9-10-2007

Haven't owned a television in decades; used to get all my news exclusively from radio, magazines and newspapers. Since i've been living in South Africa, with it's appalling "USA 80's style- radio" I have confined myself to one Sunday newspaper a week, and have gone (in spite of the local carrier Broadband cost) exclusively to checking blog sites, yours being an essential one, and the webs they weave me toward. (I also check editorial cartoons.) I find the comment sections most enlightening and helpful. Now i don't have to be too concerned about some formula-indoctrinated, sensationalizing editor with a covert/overt/covert agenda, editing essential information.

Also: I get great information from various documentaries, and DVD commentary tracks.

Sent by anthony | 5:38 PM | 9-10-2007

I must admit that I no longer watch any of the TV network evening news shows. I get my news from one of the network morning news shows, reading the morning paper, listening to whatever NPR news shows I catch while driving, and viewing one of the late night local news shows.

Sent by Helen W. Johnson | 7:35 PM | 9-10-2007

I couldn't believe Black - when confronted with the very true point that kids are duped by the military into believing that the kids can have some say-so into where they are stationed. That's how kids - -especially those with few econ. options -- have been duped for years. They aren't going for it anymore. And to hear Black say -- oh, we need more education in the community about the options you can get in the military. Please. Maybe during peace time. But there's a war going on. I live near Ft. Bragg. This place is a ghost town.

Sent by Alicia Young | 9:04 PM | 9-10-2007

I get the news from a variety of sources: internet, radio, tv - in that order. Family life makes it difficult to catch the news between 6pm and 7pm, so the news on demand works best for me.

Sent by Frank | 9:33 AM | 9-11-2007


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