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ACTION ALERT: NPR, New York Times Count Out Anti-War Activists

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    FORWARDED FROM FAIR-L AND SUPPORTED BY FRONTLINES NEWSPAPER ACTION ALERT: NPR, New York Times Count Out Anti-War Activists FAIR-L Fairness & Accuracy In
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 29, 2002
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      FORWARDED FROM FAIR-L AND SUPPORTED BY FRONTLINES NEWSPAPER

      ACTION ALERT:
      NPR, New York Times Count Out Anti-War Activists

      FAIR-L
      Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting
      Media analysis, critiques and activism
      October 28, 2002

      National Public Radio and the New York Times arrived at
      the same conclusion about the anti-war rally in
      Washington, DC this weekend: The turnout was
      disappointing. But neither report matched reality.

      The Times account on October 27 was vague, reporting that
      "thousands of protesters marched through Washington's
      streets," adding that "fewer people attended than
      organizers had said they hoped for." The report, which
      was under 500 words, appeared on page 8 of the paper.

      On the October 26 broadcast of Weekend Edition, NPR's
      Nancy Marshall went even further to disparage the turnout
      by offering an estimate on the crowd's size: "It was not
      as large as the organizers of the protest had predicted.
      They had said there would be 100,000 people here. I'd say
      there are fewer than 10,000."

      While a turnout of less than 10,000 might have been a
      disappointment, NPR's estimate is greatly at odds with
      those of other observers. The Los Angeles Times
      (10/27/02) reported that over 100,000 participated in the
      march, while the Washington Post's page A1 story
      (10/27/02) was headlined "100,000 Rally, March Against War
      in Iraq." The Post added that Saturday's march was "an
      antiwar demonstration that organizers and police suggested
      was likely Washington's largest since the Vietnam era."
      While both the Times and NPR reported the apparent
      disappointment of the organizers, none were named or
      quoted directly. Those who spoke to other news outlets
      expressed just the opposite; organizer Mara
      Verheyden-Hilliard told the Washington Post the march was
      "just extremely, extremely successful."

      Perhaps someone at NPR noticed: The next day Weekend
      Edition anchor Liane Hansen introduced a report about
      anti-war demonstrations by saying that "organizers say
      100,000 protesters were gathered." The New York Times did
      not run any follow-up article updating its estimate of the
      crowd size.

      ACTION:
      Contact NPR and the New York Times and ask them why they
      did not provide more substantive reports about the
      anti-war demonstrations in Washington, DC on October 26.

      CONTACT:
      National Public Radio
      Ombudsman
      Jeffrey A. Dvorkin
      ombudsman@...

      New York Times
      nytnews@...
      Toll free comment line: 1-888-NYT-NEWS

      As always, please remember that your comments are taken
      more seriously if you maintain a polite tone. Please cc
      fair@... with your correspondence.

      FAIR
      (212) 633-6700
      http://www.fair.org/
      E-mail: fair@...

      ----------------------------

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