Assessing U.S. media prior to Iraq War
The 10-year anniversary of the Iraq war has led to some interesting soul-searching among American journalists and journalism organizations.
Two of the most insightful pieces were published by CNN and the Washington Post. In the CNN piece ("Duped in Iraq war, has press learned?"), Paul Waldman gives an excellent analysis, including an insightful look at how the Bush Administration cleverly planted a "leak" about aluminum tubes to justify their propaganda. In the Washington Post article ("On Iraq, journalists didn't fail, they just didn't succeed"), Paul Farhi takes the most pro-media position that I've read on the subject, claiming that "failure" is a mischaracterization of the media's performance. He writes that thousands of pieces challenged the administration, but admits that all too often these articles/stories were buried either by placement or by sheer number of pro-administration pieces.
A more academic piece, "Peace journalism case study: US media coverage of the Iraq War", by Marianne Perez de Fransius, offers thorough analysis using a peace journalism framework. This is must reading for PJ academics and practitioners everywhere.