Do Progressives Care About Darfur - Part IV?

Monday, July 11, 2005

Do Progressives Care About Darfur - Part IV?

Over the last few months, I've written a few posts noting that progressives don't seem to care much about the genocide in Darfur (see here, here, and here.)

But today I learned of two new drives to make progressives aware of the situation and get them to act.

The Campaign for America's Future is asking people to write a letter to their representatives, calling on them to pass the Darfur Peace and Accountability Act which, as Mark Goldberg reported two months ago, the Bush administration managed to stall.

Elsewhere, the Center for American Progress and the Genocide Intervention Fund have launched a joint campaign called "Be a Witness."
A quantitative monitoring of all news segments aired in the month of June 2005 on ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, FoxNews, and MSNBC shows that coverage of the genocide in Sudan was overwhelmed by stories of far less consequence including the “runaway bride,” the Michael Jackson trial, and Tom Cruise’s new movie and relationship with actress Katie Holmes.* During a month when new fighting and aerial attacks erupted in Sudan, Americans learned almost nothing about these developments from major television news media.

* During the entire month of June 2005, the major network and cable news stations—broadcasting 24 hours a day, 7 days a week— aired only 126 segments on Sudan.

* In contrast, these same stations aired a combined 8303 segments on the “runaway bride”, the Michael Jackson trial, and Tom Cruise.

* Major news media aired 65 times as many segments on these trivial matters as it did on the fighting and genocide in Sudan.
They are asking people to write to the networks and urge them to start giving this situation the coverage it deserves.

It is nice to see liberal organizations finally getting involved in this issue and I encourage you all to check them both out.

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