The war in Afghanistan is costing hundreds of billions of dollars. The military occupation is party to severe human rights violations and outright atrocities. Conditions are not only not improving, they are getting worse. If you’re a regular reader of this site, you know about these things in detail. If you’re a regular consumer only of major media outlets, you know almost nothing of the war.
In the past year, “weekly monitoring of 52 major papers, news Web sites, TV networks and stations, and radio stations” found that Afghanistan made up only 2 percent of the coverage. Via Brian Stelter at the New York Times blog:
Of all the news content in newspapers and on the Web, television and radio this year, Afghanistan accounted for about 2 percent of coverage, according to the Project for Excellence in Journalism, an arm of the Pew Research Center.
Six other subjects were given more sustained attention than the war there. In descending order, they were the economy in the United States; the unrest in the Middle East; the 2012 presidential election; the earthquake, tsunami and ensuing nuclear disaster in Japan; the killing of Osama bin Laden; and the shooting in Tucson in which six were killed and Representative Gabrielle Giffords, Democrat of Arizona, was critically injured.
Here is the full study. Truthfully, I’m not even sure how to feel about this predictable reality. It’s tragic the news media doesn’t pay close attention to this, and even more tragic that virtually the entire electorate is ignorant of what is going on there. But if Afghanistan were given lots of coverage time, we could expect it to be inaccurate, indoctrinated, and to whitewash American crimes (which are ubiquitous).