NPR Coverage of War's Impact on Iraqi Civilians



January 4, 2006

Hello All!  We have some very, very good news to share.

Since our last update (12/1/05) NPR has begun reporting more comprehensively on the civilian situation in Iraq.  You may recall from that update that the CCC had received verbal commitments from NPR management on two separate occasions that they would begin doing more coverage of civilian issues in Iraq.  The first promise was made on 11/4/05 and the second on 11/29/05. 
After the first promise, we began monitoring all NPR stories broadcast on their major news shows:  Morning Edition, All Things Considered and Weekend Edition, Saturday.  We planned to monitor until December 20, 2005 (six months from our very first communication to NPR on this subject), before contacting NPR management again.

The results of our monitoring were not very encouraging.  On 12/20/05 our monitoring showed that NPR had done 160 stories on Iraq and only three of them were even arguably close to covering civilian concerns.

So on 12/20/05 we wrote to NPR again (the text of our letter is on our website), reminding management of the statements of commitment that were made, relating the results of our monitoring, noting that during the same period comprehensive coverage of other humanitarian crises had continued, and requesting that NPR keep its promise of increased coverage.

Because of problems with our email (please note our new email address), we cannot be sure whether NPR responded to our 12/20/05 email to them.  That is, we can?t be sure if they replied in writing via email.  We can be sure, however, that they have definitely increased their coverage of the civilian situation in Iraq.  Since Thursday, 12/29/05 we have noticed a marked increase in civilian stories.  Not only have there been a few stories for which the headlines and introductions themselves highlight that the story is about civilian life, but other stories on different matters have started to include references to the troubles of ordinary Iraqis.

Please help us celebrate this increased coverage.  You can help by doing the following:

1.      Please go to NPR?s website and listen to the stories at Scroll down the left side and click on Morning Edition, All Things Considered and Weekend Edition, Saturday.  Go to the right side and click on ?Previous Show.?  Use the calendar provided to click on the date of the show you want to hear.  Then scroll down the list of stories.  A list of dates and story titles is at the bottom of this update for your convenience.

2.      Please take just a few minutes to send an email to NPR management to thank them and encourage them to continue this expanded coverage.  You can send your email to Bill Marimow ( and please be sure to copy the following:,  and    It would also be great if you copy us at  (new email address) so that we may keep a record of the response.  But that is entirely up to you.  What would help very, very much is if you state that you are writing on behalf of the Complete Coverage Campaign.  You can also get your friends and colleagues to write as well.  Your email to NPR might say something like the following:

Dear NPR Management:
I am aware that your coverage of the civilian situation in Iraq has recently expanded to include more stories about what life is like for ordinary Iraqis.  As someone who supports the work of the Complete Coverage Campaign, I want to thank you for this coverage and encourage you to continue to cover the humanitarian crisis under which so many Iraqi citizens live day after day.  It takes great courage to do this type of reporting.  Your efforts are greatly appreciated.

So, on behalf of the CCC, thanks for your support and your encouragement. 
We know that there is more work to do and we look forward to pressing ahead.

For those in the Las Vegas, Nevada area, please note that we will be at the First Friday event on January 6th.  We will be at the intersection of Casino Center and Colorado streets, near the Funk House antique shop, talking to folks about the campaign and sharing the NPR news with them, as well as getting more petition signatures.

All the best in this new year,
The Complete Coverage Campaign


Despite Progress, Iraqis Still Face Daily Challenges by Jamie Tarabay  All Things Considered, December 29, 2005 ? Iraq's election commission is expected to release official poll results by the week's end. As Iraqis look to the future, a review of the past year reveals historic moments and progress -- as well as ongoing electricity and water shortages and other day-to-day reminders of the challenges that remain.

Security Threats Shut Down Iraq Refineries by Jamie Tarabay Morning Edition, December 30, 2005 ? An international team of election monitors was due in Iraq Friday to check allegations of fraud in this month's elections. The team's involvement may help assuage Sunni constituents angry at the outcome. Violence has caused at least two oil refineries to shut down, worsening gas shortages.

Lines Grow as Iraqis Learn of Refinery Closure by Jamie Tarabay All Things Considered, December 30, 2005 ? Already beset by violence and political instability, Iraqis face another crisis as the country's largest oil refinery shuts down due to insurgent threats against fuel tank drivers. The news has sparked a growing rush for scarce gasoline, and the country's oil minister has been suspended.

Teen Travels on Own to Iraq for Class All Things Considered, December 30, 2005 ? Farris Hassan is a 16-year-old high school junior from Florida who went by himself to Iraq as a project for his class in immersion journalism. Associated Press reporter Jason Straziuso talks about his encounter with the high school student.

Police Trainer Reflects on His Year in Iraq Weekend Edition - Saturday, December 31, 2005 ? Mike Heidingsfield spent 13 months in Iraq as the top civilian commander in charge of training Iraqi police. He tells Linda Werteimer that Iraqi police are now a more visible presence, but that makes them targets for insurgents, too.

Exploring Life Outside the Green Zone by Jamie Tarabay Morning Edition, January 2, 2006 ? Renee Montagne talks to NPR's Jamie Tarabay about what life is like for Iraqi citizens outside the heavily protected Green Zone in Baghdad.

Florida Teen Returns Home from Iraq Trip by Phillip Davis Morning Edition, January 2, 2006 ? Sixteen-year-old Farris Hassan arrives at Miami International Airport, home after secretly hopping a plane to the Middle East and making it all the way to Baghdad. After detours in Kuwait City and Beirut, he made it into Iraq -- with some help from friends of his father in Beirut -- on Christmas Day.

Iraq Oil Minister Resigns Over Gas Prices by Jamie Tarabay
All Things Considered, January 2, 2006 ? Iraq's oil minister, Ibrahim Bahr al-Uloum, officially submits his resignation in protest of a three-fold price hike in the cost of gasoline. His announcement is another blow to an oil industry already in shambles with insurgent attacks and low export levels.

Learn more about our C.A.N. (Campaign of Active Nonviolence) at or