A rare upbeat story on Iraq ran Monday night on ABC’s World News. Anchor Charles Gibson touted “an extraordinary comeback story” about Fallujah, the city of one of the war’s bloodiest and longest battles, but now where reporter Miguel Marquez discovered bustling markets, Marines welcomed by kids and no car bombs or shootings of Marines in several months. Gibson effused about how “we have an extraordinary comeback story tonight from the place where the Marines suffered their worst losses of the war. Fallujah is undergoing a remarkable turnaround. Tribal leaders, local officials and the U.S. Marines have united behind a common cause. Bringing security to a place that had been one of Iraq’s most insecure.”
Over matching video, Marquez described how “the markets bustle. Traffic chokes the streets. Marines, once despised here, are now a welcome sight.” Viewers saw video of a Marines with kids before Colonel Rich Simcook told Marquez: “This is one of my big measures of effectiveness, where, you know, kids will come up to you, you know, they feel safe to come out and play.” Speaking with a Marine Sergeant, Marquez wondered: “When’s the last time you were shot at these days?” The Marine replied: “I’d say, end of March.” Marquez saw a corollary sign things are going well: “The last car bomb in Fallujah was in May.” Though Marquez added some caveats about high unemployment and the lack of weapons for the Iraqi police, he concluded on the bright side: “There are encouraging signs. Schools just opened, and enrollment is at its highest since before the war. Construction, from huge infrastructure projects to fixing sidewalks, is everywhere. Fallujah even sports solar street lights…”
ABCNews.com, in the World News section, has video of a shortened (about one minute) version of the Marquez story. Direct link to the abbreviated video.
Go to NewsBusters.org for the original posting.
Read about more progress in Iraq from Iraq at freelance journalist Michael Yon’s blog
1. What type of bias is displayed by news organizations that do not print or air stories success stories from Iraq? (For example, In the middle of October, ABC’s Charles Gibson introduced a segment about Iraq on “World News Tonight” by saying: “The news is (pause for effect) that there is no news. The police told us today that, to their knowledge, there were no major acts of violence. Attacks are down in Baghdad and today no bombings or roadside explosions were reported.”) [Scroll to the bottom of this page for the answer.]
2. OPTIONAL: If you would like ABC News to provide more of the good news on progress in Iraq, write to ABC News at abcnews.go.com/Site/page?id=3052660.
Scroll down to the bottom of the page for the answers.
By not publishing the success stories from Iraq, news organizations display bias by omission and story selection.