grassrootspeace.org

November 5, 2007: This website is an archive of the former website, traprockpeace.org, which was created 10 years ago by Charles Jenks. It became one of the most populace sites in the US, and an important resource on the antiwar movement, student activism, 'depleted' uranium and other topics. Jenks authored virtually all of its web pages and multimedia content (photographs, audio, video, and pdf files. As the author and registered owner of that site, his purpose here is to preserve an important slice of the history of the grassroots peace movement in the US over the past decade. He is maintaining this historical archive as a service to the greater peace movement, and to the many friends of Traprock Peace Center. Blogs have been consolidated and the calendar has been archived for security reasons; all other links remain the same, and virtually all blog content remains intact.

THIS SITE NO LONGER REFLECTS THE CURRENT AND ONGOING WORK OF TRAPROCK PEACE CENTER, which has reorganized its board and moved to Greenfield, Mass. To contact Traprock Peace Center, call 413-773-7427 or visit its site. Charles Jenks is posting new material to PeaceJournal.org, a multimedia blog and resource center.

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Contents - Archives - War Crimes - GI Special - Student Activism - Links

War on Truth  From Warriors to Resisters
Books of the Month

The War on Truth

From Warriors to Resisters

Army of None

Iraq: the Logic of Withdrawal

ACTIVISM UPDATE:
Times, NPR Change Their Take on DC Protests
(scroll down to see original Action Alert)

October 30, 2002

Three days after its first report on the D.C. antiwar protests, readers of
the New York Times were treated to a much different account of the same
event. On October 30, the Times reported that the October 26 protests
"drew 100,000 by police estimates and 200,000 by organizers', forming a
two-mile wall of marchers around the White House. The turnout startled
even organizers, who had taken out permits for 20,000 marchers."

This directly contradicted the Times' October 27 report, which noted that
the "thousands" of demonstrators were "fewer people... than organizers had
said they hoped for." The October 30 Times report also included much more
information about similar protests around the country, and featured quotes
from various antiwar activists.

The second Times story may have been a reaction to the overwhelming
response to FAIR's October 28 Action Alert critical of the paper's
downplaying of the protest. FAIR has received more than 1,100 copies of
individual letters sent to the Times or to NPR, whose coverage was also
cited in the action alert-- one of the largest volumes of mail ever
generated by a FAIR action alert. The newspaper trade magazine Editor and
Publisher (10/30/02) suggested that the October 30 piece was a "make-up
article" that may have been written "in response to many organized protest
letters sent to the Times since the paper's weak, and inaccurate, initial
article about the march on Sunday."

The paper has not yet issued an editor's note or correction explaining the
different reports, though senior editor Bill Borders sent an apologetic
message to many of the people who wrote to the paper.

"I am sorry we disappointed you," he said. "Accurately measuring the size
of a crowd of demonstrators is nearly impossible and often, as in this
case, there are no reliable objective estimates." Borders defended the
Times' overall coverage of the Iraq debate, and thanked activists for
contacting the paper: "We appreciate your writing us and welcome your
careful scrutiny. It helps us to do a better job."

National Public Radio, another target of FAIR's action alert, has also
offered a correction of its misleading coverage of the D.C. protest. The
following message is now posted on NPR's website:
---
On Saturday, October 26, in a story on the protest in Washington, D.C.
against a U.S. war with Iraq, we erroneously reported on All Things
Considered that the size of the crowd was "fewer than 10,000." While Park
Service employees gave no official estimate, it is clear that the crowd
was substantially larger than that. On Sunday, October 27, we reported on
Weekend Edition that the crowd estimated by protest organizers was
100,000. We apologize for the error.
---
FAIR thanks all of the activists who wrote to the New York Times and NPR
about their coverage of the D.C. protests. Those who did write or call
might consider sending a follow-up note to the outlets to encourage
serious, ongoing coverage of the growing antiwar movement

.To read the New York Times' new report on the protests, go to:
http://www.nytimes.com/2002/10/30/national/30PROT.html
(Registration required)

To read the initial NPR story with the correction, go to:
http://www.npr.org/programs/atc/transcripts/2002/oct/021026.brand.html

To read FAIR's October 28 action alert on protest coverage, go to:
http://www.fair.org/activism/npr-nyt-protests.htmlNOTE: FAIR mistakenly referred to NPR's October 26 report as being part of
the show Weekend Edition. That report actually aired on All Things Considered, while the report the following day aired on Weekend Edition.

FAIR-L
Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting
Media analysis, critiques and activism

ACTION ALERT: NPR, New York Times Count Out Anti-War Activists

October 28, 2002


National Public Radio and the New York Times arrived at the same
conclusion about the anti-war rally in Washington, DC this weekend: The
turnout was disappointing. But neither report matched reality.

The Times account on October 27 was vague, reporting that "thousands of
protesters marched through Washington's streets," adding that "fewer
people attended than organizers had said they hoped for." The report,
which was under 500 words, appeared on page 8 of the paper.

On the October 26 broadcast of Weekend Edition, NPR's Nancy Marshall went
even further to disparage the turnout by offering an estimate on the
crowd's size: "It was not as large as the organizers of the protest had
predicted. They had said there would be 100,000 people here. I'd say there
are fewer than 10,000."

While a turnout of less than 10,000 might have been a disappointment,
NPR's estimate is greatly at odds with those of other observers. The Los
Angeles Times (10/27/02) reported that over 100,000 participated in the
march, while the Washington Post's page A1 story (10/27/02) was headlined
"100,000 Rally, March Against War in Iraq." The Post added that
Saturday's march was "an antiwar demonstration that organizers and police
suggested was likely Washington's largest since the Vietnam era." While
both the Times and NPR reported the apparent disappointment of the
organizers, none were named or quoted directly. Those who spoke to other
news outlets expressed just the opposite; organizer Mara
Verheyden-Hilliard told the Washington Post the march was "just extremely,
extremely successful."

Perhaps someone at NPR noticed: The next day Weekend Edition anchor Liane
Hansen introduced a report about anti-war demonstrations by saying that
"organizers say 100,000 protesters were gathered." The New York Times did
not run any follow-up article updating its estimate of the crowd size.ACTION: Contact NPR and the New York Times and ask them why they did not provide more substantive reports about the anti-war demonstrations in

Washington, DC on October 26.

CONTACT:
National Public Radio
Ombudsman
Jeffrey A. Dvorkin
mailto:ombudsman@npr.org

New York Times
mailto:nytnews@nytimes.com
Toll free comment line: 1-888-NYT-NEWS

As always, please remember that your comments are taken more seriously if
you maintain a polite tone. Please cc fair@fair.org with your
correspondence.

Page created October 26, 2002 by Charlie Jenks.