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imperialism & war | media criticism

New NW media watch group focuses on Iraq

Iraq activists and media reform advocates form new media watch group in Seattle
A new media accountability organization, the Citizens Committee for Responsible Journalism, has formed in Seattle. The group plans to monitor and critique local media on significant issue coverage, beginning with coverage of Iraq, but also plans to engage directly with the press, establishing dialogue between journalists and local experts to help humanize coverage of complex and often-distant subjects. "The media are failing us," CCRJ co-founder Bert Sacks told Counterpunch. "The media failed to ask critical questions about weapons of mass destruction, simply repeating what the government said without much investigation or without much critical questioning." Sacks hopes to mobilize thousands of readers in Seattle to contact local print and broadcast media and say, "This is not acceptable to us. You are failing in your function in a democracy." In 1999, Sacks' personal outreach to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer's foreign editor convinced the paper to send a reporter to Iraq with Sacks, and to publish a landmark, award-winning eight-page spread on the effects of US sanctions. The CCRJ is currently gathering signatures in order to demonstrate broad community support for its project.

[ Citizens Committee for Responsible Journalism ]
[ Seattle P-I's March 99 special section on Iraq ]
[ Patty Murray's letter distributing the P-I report to the Senate ] [ Bert Sacks: advice for working with the media ]

homepage: homepage: http://www.reclaimthemedia.org