April 22, 2006

Television "dropped the ball" by covering Michael Jackson instead of Darfur
Kristof was on "Reliable Sources," today and talked about the media's lack of coverage on Darfur.
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(Full transcript from CNN)

KRISTOF: Yeah, sure. And Sudan, I think, has done a great job about keeping journalists out simply by not giving visas. But this is a little bit different, because we can get visas to Chad, and now there are more than 200,000 people who have fled Darfur and are in Chad and are telling their stories to anybody who will talk to them. I must say that newspapers and magazines, I think, have done a better job in covering this. The people who have really dropped the ball, frankly, is television.

KURTZ: And on that point, could that possibly be because the story is kind of depressing -- many tens of thousands of people dying -- and that it's considered a ratings loser?

KRISTOF: I'm sure that's it. But if we in the media are going to ask for various special kinds of special privileges, as we do, then I think we also have to show some kind of special responsibility. And when the CBS Evening News, last year over the course of the entire year, spends two minutes covering genocide, while the broadcast networks are averaging 28 minutes covering the Michael Jackson trial, then there is something profoundly wrong.

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