December 18, 2007

The Portrait from Iraq - How the Press Has Covered Events on the Ground

Topline

TOPLINE

Iraq Ground Events Study

January 1-October 31, 2007 

 

Reporting by Media Sector

Frequency

% of Stories

Newspapers

122

11.0%

Online

170

15.3

Network TV

465

41.9

Cable TV

292

26.3

Radio

60

5.4

Total

1109

100%

 

Reporting by Month

Across All Media Outlets

Frequency

% of Stories

January

129

11.6%

February

133

12.0

March

116

10.5

April

113

10.2

May

133

12.0

June

119

10.7

July

79

7.1

August

84

7.6

September

81

7.3

October

122

11.0

Total

1109

100%


Topics

Across All Media Outlets

% of Newshole

% of Stories

Frequency

U.S. Involved Violence

26.8%

35.9%

398 stories

U.S. Strategy

17.0

12.3

136

Iraqi Only Violence

11.5

15.7

174

Private Contractors

8.9

6.4

71

Iraqi Civilian Stories

5.5

3.4

38

Insurgents

5.4

4.1

45

U.S. Soldiers Other than Combat

4.7

2.4

27

Reconstruction of Infrastructure

3.4

2.7

30

Iraqi Government

3.2

3.7

41

Iraqi Internal Affairs Other

2.7

1.9

21

Mix of Topics

1.8

1.8

20

U.S. Soldiers Charged with Crimes

1.8

2.3

26

Iraqi Military and Police

1.7

0.9

10

Non-U.S. Foreign Military

1.6

2.9

32

Other

1.6

1.9

21

Sectarian Tensions in Iraq

1.5

0.7

8

U.S. Soldiers Helping People

0.6

0.5

5

Iran’s Involvement

0.3

0.5

6

Total

100%

100%

1109 stories


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stories by Narrative Thread

Across All Media Outlets

Frequency

% of Stories

Continued Violence, No Other Themes

520 stories

46.9%

U.S. Policy/
Surge
Total

157 stories

14.2%

Will Work/ Is Working

36

3.2

Will Not Work/ Is Not
Working

55

5.0

Balanced

66

6.0

Iraqi Nation’s Stability Total

84 stories

7.6%

Iraq Moving Towards Stability

5

0.5

Iraq Moving Towards Chaos

72

6.5

Balanced

7

0.6

Iraqi Government Total

43 stories

3.9%

Government is Stable/
Making Progress

6

0.5

Government is Unstable/
Negative Progress

32

2.9

Balanced

5

0.5

Iraqi People’s View of U.S. Presence Total

14 stories

1.3%

Want Troops to Stay

1

0.1

Want Troops to Leave

9

0.8

Balanced

4

0.4

Troop Morale
Total

14 stories

1.3%

Morale is Up

3

0.3

Morale is Down

7

0.6

Balanced

4

0.4

Other Themes*
Total

(Stories Did Not Include
Evaluations of Above Themes)

235 stories

21.2%

U.S. Military – Other Than Violence

57

5.1

Iraq Internal Affairs

54

4.9

Private Contractors

54

4.9

U.S. Involved Violence

16

1.4

Other

54

4.9

Straight Recitation of Facts (Other Than Violence)

42 stories

3.8%

Total

1109 stories

100%

*These other themes included
subjects such as the role of private contractors, the day to day life of U.S.
troops, reconstruction efforts, and other Iraqi internal issues not having to
do with incidents of violence.


Narrative Threads, Pessimistic, Optimistic, Balanced

Frequency

% of
Stories

Pessimistic Themes Total

175 stories

15.8 %

Iraqi Nation Moving Towards
Chaos

72

6.5

U.S. Policy/Surge Will Not Work/Is Not Working

55

5.0

Iraq Government is
Unstable/Negative Progress

32

2.9

Iraqi People Want U.S. Troops
to Leave

9

0.8

U.S. Troop Morale is Down

7

0.6

Optimistic Themes Total

51 stories

4.6%

U.S. Policy/Surge Will
Work/Is working

36

3.2

Iraqi Government is
Stable/Making Progress

6

0.5

Iraqi Nation is Moving
Towards Stability

5

0.5

Iraqi Troop Morale is Up

3

0.3

Iraqi People Want U.S. Troops
to Stay

1

0.1

Balanced Themes Total

86 stories

7.8%

U.S. Policy/Surge – Balanced

66

6.0

Iraqi Nation – Balanced

7

0.6

Iraqi Government – Balanced

5

0.5

Iraqi People on U.S. Presence
– Balanced

4

0.4

U.S. Troop Morale – Balanced

4

0.4

 

Number of Stakeholders (All Stories)

Frequency

% of Stories

% of Newshole

Total

1109 stories

100%

100%

All/ Mostly One Viewpoint

368

33.2

33.4

Two Views

113

10.2

12.5

More Than Two

330

29.8

48.9

Not Applicable/ Straight
Recitation of Facts

298

26.9

5.2

 

Number of Stakeholders (Excluding Those That Straight
Recitation of Facts)

Frequency

% of Stories

% of Newshole

Total

811 stories

100%

100%

All/ Mostly One Viewpoint

368

45.4

36.0

Two Views

113

13.9

13.5

More Than Two

330

40.7

50.6


Dominant Source in Stories with One Stakeholder

Frequency

% of Stories

% of Newshole

U.S.
Government

White House/ executive

21 stories

5.7%

3.3%

Democratic Lawmakers

2

0.5

0.4

Republican Lawmakers

2

0.5

0.4

U.S. Government Other

19

5.2

3.1

U.S. Diplomats

2

0.5

0.3

Anti-War Groups

0

0

0

U.S. Military

Official View

128

34.8

36.0

Soldiers in the Field

40

10.9

18.5

Iraqi

Iraqi Government

38

10.3

7.5

Iraqi Military

12

3.3

3.5

Sunni Civilians

0

0

0

Shiite Civilians

3

0.8

1.2

Kurdish Civilians

0

0

0

Civilians Other/ Unspecified

15

4.1

4.7

Insurgents

8

2.2

1.6

Private Contractors

3

0.8

0.6

Non-U.S. Foreign

Foreign Government

5

1.4

0.5

Foreign Military

2

0.5

0.3

Expert/ Outside Group

13

3.5

2.7

Journalist/ Host

45

12.2

13.9

Other

10

2.7

1.6

Total*

368 Stories

100%

100%

* Stories
that had no Dominant Source were left out of this tally. This table includes
368 out of 1109 total stories.