The media did a great job in the early stages of the war on terror, concludes a new study by The Project for Excellence in Journalism. But, over the past several months, the press's performance has rated less than stellar.
"As the story moved to the war in Afghanistan, however, analysis and opinion swelled--so much so that the level of factualness declined to levels lower than those seen in the middle of the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal," the study concludes.
In addition to reverting back to speculation and analysis instead of focusing on hard facts, the study concludes that media coverage has been decidedly jingoistic, with viewpoints critical of the Bush Administration composing less than 10% of total air time and column space.
This hour, the director of The Project for Excellence in Journalism analyzes the job the media has done in covering the war on terror. Are we getting the facts we need? Or has the media become merely a vehicle for mindless speculation?
Tom Rosenstiel, Director of the Project for Excellence in Journalism, co-author of "The Elements of Journalism: What Newspeople Should Know and the Public Should Expect"
This program aired on February 19, 2002.