In a week that included a gloomy intelligence assessment, a battle that killed hundreds of Shiite fanatics, and more charges that Iran has U.S. blood on its hands, the deepening Iraq conflict again commanded much of the media's attention, according PEJ's News Coverage Index.
Iraq-related news filled more than a quarter of the overall newshole in the week from January 28 to February 2.
The top story was the internal debate over Iraq policy (15% of the Index newshole). The debate has led the way in three of the five weeks this year. Violence on the ground (third place at 6%) was the second part of the Iraq story. That was matched by allegations that Iran is increasingly involved in that bloodshed (also at 6%). It’s worth noting that the killing of more than 130 Iraqis in a February 3 bombing attack came after the Index deadline. The war was an even bigger story on television and radio than in print or online.
For the third week this year, the 2008 Presidential race was a top-five story (it was the biggest story in the previous week’s Index). This time it was the second leading story at 9%, thanks to controversial comments from Hillary Clinton and especially, Joe Biden.
Read the full article and view charts on the Project for Excellence in Journalism Web site.