PEJ New Media Index: A Court Martial Fuels Anger in the Blogosphere

Dec 03, 2009

A story that has generated little attention in the mainstream media was the most popular subject among bloggers last week.

From November 23-27, 40% of the links in blogs were to a November 24 Fox News report about the pending court martial of three Navy SEALs who captured a wanted terrorist in Iraq, according to the New Media Index from the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism. Many commentators, who tilted conservative, expressed outrage that the men are being prosecuted for an alleged assault against Ahmed Hashim Abed, the reputed mastermind behind the 2004 killing of four Blackwater contractors. Some of them blamed President Obama for allowing the case to proceed.

Until this week, Iraq had been largely absent from the news-among both new and traditional outlets. So far in 2009, it has not appeared at all among the top five weekly subjects in the blogosphere and in the mainstream press accounted for less than 2% of the coverage, according to PEJ's News Coverage Index. Even last week, virtually all the online commentary on the court martial case linked to one report on Foxnews.com, with few other mainstream media outlets doing independent reporting on the story.

Read the full report A Court Martial Fuels Anger in the Blogosphere on the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism Web site.

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