Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Iraq - is media changing its tune? 

Well, maybe not; maybe it's far too early to even talk about hedging their bets. It has been, after all, almost two years of relentlessly negative coverage, for the past few months concentrating on the coming elections and what a failure they will end up turning into because: 1) of the bad security situation; 2) the Sunnis will not participate; 3) Iraq will become a theocracy; 4) or descend into civil war; or, really, any combination of the above.

But what if it doesn't? What if, despite all the violence and other problems, the solid majority of Iraqis will succeed in electing a stable, legitimate and moderate government? Are senior people around newsrooms starting to scratch their heads? Like swallows, one story - or even three - doesn't make a spring, but, as Rich Lowry writes:
"For the second day in a row, the New York Times has a positive Iraq piece, this one about Sunnis wanting to have a part drafting the constitution. For weeks, administration insiders have been telling me how: 1) the Shiite slate has been amazingly responsible in its actions and statements; 2) there will be plenty of chances to buy reasonable Sunnis into the political process even after the January 30 election. Stunningly, both points have now been reported and given high-profile play in the Times."
Here's the piece in question (hat tip: Instapundit). Then there is a reasonably positive piece from another unlikely source - CNN: "The concept of democracy appears to have taken root in the dusty town of Karma, a predominantly Sunni community of 75,000 people about nine miles (15 kilometers) northeast of Falluja." (hat tip: Dan Foty)

Speaking of good news from Iraq, it would me quite remiss of me not to share with you the good work that California's "North County Times" is doing on the ground. Why is a local newspaper like the "NC Times" able to send to Iraq two staff reporters (the excellent Darrin Mortenson and Hayne Palmour) who are consistently not afraid to report the good as well as the bad news? Why isn't anyone else? Check out the coverage. Or better still, email the editor (editor "at" nctimes "dot" com) and let them know that their effort to maintain balanced reporting is much appreciated.


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