August 18, 2004
Analysis: Media Reconsider Prewar Coverage
Post's media reporter, Howard Kurtz, last week examined the paper's coverage of
the Bush administration's prewar claims about Iraq and its alleged weapons of
mass destruction (WMD). In his article, Kurtz concluded that the Post's editors
frequently underplayed skeptical reporting on Iraq's alleged WMD by often relegating
them to the inside pages, while stories on the administration's assertions on
Iraq received greater exposure on the paper's front page.
The Post's self-evaluation
comes as the latest in a series of critical reassessments of prewar coverage by
news organizations, including The New York Times.
Media correspondent Terence Smith speaks with Leonard Downie Jr.,
executive editor of The Washington Post, and Michael Massing,
a press critic and contributor to The New York Review of Books,
about the media's performance in covering the run up to
the Iraq war and why news organizations are beginning to publicly
question their own reporting.
Article from The Washington Post:
Post on WMDs: An Aside Story," by Howard Kurtz, August 12, 2004 (registration
The New York Times published a critique of its own reporting
on Iraq's alleged weapons of mass destruction, and the editorial board admitted
its coverage was flawed and relied too heavily on suspect intelligence sources.
Two media experts assess the Times' assessment of its coverage.
Statements from The New York Times
Note on Iraq Coverage
of relevant New York Times articles
York Times' Public Editor Daniel Okrent on the Times' faulty coverage
April 21, 2004
Washington Post reporter and author Bob Woodward discusses his new book, "Plan
of Attack," which details the Bush administration's rationale for war against
Iraq and its prewar gathering of intelligence on Iraq's alleged weapons of mass
"Media Coverage of Weapons of Mass Destruction"
by Susan Moeller, a journalism professor at the University of Maryland
British Judge Lord Hutton issued his long-awaited report
on the death of David Kelly, an expert on Iraqi weapons. That same day, British
Broadcasting Corp. Chairman Gavyn Davies resigned and apologized for some of the
BBC's reporting on the buildup to the war in Iraq. Terence Smith examines the
impact of the "Hutton report" on the BBC and Prime Minister Tony Blair.
-- The Hutton report
Response to the Hutton Report
British Broadcasting Corp. journalist Andrew Gilligan
admitted he made several errors in his report that accused Prime Minister Tony
Blair's aides of "sexing up" intelligence data to bolster its case for
war with Iraq.
British Prime Minister Tony Blair answers his critics
and responds to BBC reports that weapons inspector Dr. David Kelly was the source
for reports that the British government manipulated intelligence on Iraq's weapons
of mass destruction.
July 21, 2003
The suicide of Dr. David Kelly, who was the main source
for a British Broadcasting Corp. report alleging British Prime Minister Tony Blair's
government had "sexed up" intelligence on Iraq's weapons, leads to a
Terence Smith discusses the importance of the thus far
unsuccessful search for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq with four editorial
page writers from across the country.