Citizens Committee for Responsible Journalism 

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Media Analysis

Media Coverage: Fair, Accurate, Balanced?

"So let no one doubt that the salvation of all the exploited peoples of the earth, and therefore of the world, lies in the strictest reliance on the coin on whose one face is written 'truth' and on the other 'nonviolence,' in large letters."1 -- Gandhi

Has our media reported with truth? Here is one example, involving sanctions on Iraq. As shown below, in 1999 UNICEF reported that sanctions had contributed to the deaths of 500,000 Iraqi children.2 The UNICEF report was never mentioned on the three main nightly TV news shows.3 As an example, The Wall Street Journal coverage is below.4

See over for more newspaper reporting. Fair, accurate, balanced reporting? You judge.

Click for larger image     

UNICEF Chart and statement 5:

"... if the substantial reduction in child mortality throughout Iraq during the 1980s had continued through the 1990s, there would have been half a million fewer deaths of children under-five in the country as a whole during the eight year period 1991 to 1998."

The Wall Street Journal's entire coverage of the UNICEF report: "The death rate for Iraqi children doubled in this decade, according to a Unicef report sure to reignite debate over U.N. sanctions. The U.S. blames Saddam Hussein's regime for hoarding food and medicine purchased under a program allowing limited oil sales." 6

Head of the U.N. oil-for-food program: "It is not -- I repeat, it is not, and you can check this with my colleagues -- a premeditated act of withholding medicines from those who should have it." 7

Join us as we work to monitor and encourage responsible journalism on Iraq. See for all footnotes, an online media watch, and how to help. Inaccurate reporting hid and so contributed to thousands of Iraqi deaths.

1 The Way to God, by M. K. Gandhi, p 58


3 Iraq Under Siege: The Deadly Impact of Sanctions, edited by Anthony Arnove, South End Press, p.79

4 The Wall Street Journal, August 13, 1999, front-page news item, there is no follow-on article.


6 The Wall Street Journal, August 13, 1999, front-page news item, there is no follow-on article.



February 24, 2002.   Return to top
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