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[] Irak: US-Bürger nutzen stärker ausländische Medien,

Interessanter Aspekt zur Bedeutung von Blogs: 
The only debate in the U.S. media is on the Web, Dennis said. "Weblogs
are doing all the work that the U.S. media did in the past," he said.
"That's an interesting development."

Media Watchdogs Caught Napping  

By Leander Kahney 

02:00 AM Mar. 17, 2003 PT

In the run up to a conflict in Iraq, foreign news websites are seeing
large volumes of traffic from America, as U.S. citizens increasingly
seek news coverage about the coming war. 

"Given how timid most U.S. news organizations have been in challenging
the White House position on Iraq, I'm not surprised if Americans are
turning to foreign news services for a perspective on the conflict that
goes beyond freedom fries," said Deborah Branscom, a Newsweek
contributing editor, who keeps a weblog devoted to media issues. 

In January, for example, half the visitors to the Guardian Unlimited
news site, an umbrella site for Britain's left-leaning Guardian and
Observer newspapers, were from the Americas. 

According to Nielsen/NetRatings, 49 percent of the Guardian's 1.3
million unique visitors (that's the number of different visitors, not
the site's total traffic) in January originated from the Americas. 

Likewise, Nielsen said a quarter of the visitors to the Australian
Broadcasting Corporation's website in January were from the Americas. 

"What we're seeing is a lot of searching for news information,
particularly from America," said Richard Goosey, NetRating's
international chief of measurement science. 

Traffic from the Americas was not the result of an across-the-board
increase in news consumption, Goosey said. 

While news websites in general saw a 3 percent increase in traffic
between December 2002 and January 2003, the Guardian saw a 10 percent
increase in visitors, Goosey said. Meanwhile, CNN's website, one of the
most popular news sites in the United States, saw a small decline in

Nonetheless, NetRatings reported that traffic from U.S. Internet users
to all news sites was up markedly in February. U.K.-based news sites,
including the Guardian, the Independent and the BBC, saw increased
traffic from American users that month. So did MSNBC and CNN, two of the
most popular U.S. sites. 

Jon Dennis, Guardian Unlimited deputy news editor, said U.S. readers are
visiting his site for the range of opinions it publishes, and to engage
in vigorous debate. Media outlets in the United States, he said, are not
presenting the issues critically. 

"As a journalist, I find it quite strange that there's not more
criticism of the Bush administration in the American media," he said.
"It's as though the whole U.S. is in shock (from Sept. 11). It's hard
for (the media) to be dispassionate about it. It seems as though they're
not thinking as clearly as they should be." 

Dennis charged that, unlike much of the American press, the Guardian
site presents both pro- and anti-war positions. In addition, the
Guardian encourages its readers to debate the issues, through the site's
talk boards and interactive features like live interviews with various

The only debate in the U.S. media is on the Web, Dennis said. "Weblogs
are doing all the work that the U.S. media did in the past," he said.
"That's an interesting development." 

In fact, a lot of the Guardian's U.S. traffic is referred by weblogs,
especially Matt Drudge's Drudge Report, said Nielsen's Goosey. 

"The new war in Iraq has made world news sources far more important,"
said Stephen Gilliard, who posts a lot of foreign news stories to the
weblog at NetSlaves. "While not all news sources are reliable, there is
such a gap between the way Americans see the world and the way other
people do that it is invaluable to use these resources." 

There is also a growing tide of criticism of the U.S. media from members
of the media, such as veteran CBS broadcaster Dan Rather. 

Rather recently complained to the BBC about the media's lack of access
to government officials, and the growth of "Milatainment" reality shows
on U.S. TV, including ABC's Profiles from the Front Line and VH1's
Military Diaries. 

New York Times columnist Paul Krugman wrote, "(U.S. TV news) seems to be
reporting about a different planet than the one covered by foreign

That's not to say U.S. news outlets are devoid of criticism for leaders'
handling of the conflict in Iraq. Krugman himself is a case in point,
having published a column last week with an opening sentence stating
that "America's leadership has lost touch with reality." 

Barb Palser, online media columnist for the American Journalism Review,
believes that many visitors to foreign news sites are finding their way
through links from U.S.-based publications. She cites the example of The
Spokesman Review, a newspaper in Spokane, Washington, which provides
links to outside news services, many of them overseas, as part of its
Iraq coverage. 

Another source that may be pointing U.S. news junkies overseas, Palser
said, is Google. A search on Google News for the terms "Iraq" and "war"
turned up more than 54,000 links, with articles from Australian, British
and Saudi Arabian news outlets topping the list. 

Joanna Glasner contributed to this report.

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