PEJ News Coverage Index: May 13 - 18, 2007, Turmoil Inside Iraq Leads the Week's News

May 21, 2007

Even with all the bloodshed in Iraq, the “honor killing” report on the May 17 edition of CNN’s “Situation Room” stood out as a particularly grim episode. As the photo of an attractive 17-year-old Iraqi girl appeared on the screen, anchor Wolf Blitzer warned viewers that “some of the images you’re about to see will be very, very disturbing.”

What followed was grainy but clearly visible cell phone video of the young woman being kicked and stoned to death by a frantic mob for the sin of spending time with a young man of a different religious background. The final image showed her lying face down on the ground, her apparently lifeless body surrounded by a pool of blood.

The violence did not end there. According to CNN correspondent Brian Todd, a group of militants later retaliated for the girl’s killing by slaughtering two dozen people.

Last week was one of the rare times this year when events inside Iraq generated more news coverage than the Washington-based policy debate over the war. And it marked the first time in 2007 that the bloodshed in Iraq—which filled 10% of the overall newshole—was the biggest story of the week, according to PEJ’s News Coverage Index for the period from May 13—May 18, 2007.

Read the full article and view charts on the Project for Excellence in Journalism Web site.

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