For major papers, 9-12 march -- but not Iraq war protest -- warranted front-page coverage

››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

In their September 13 editions, several major newspapers gave coverage of a September 12 "March on Washington" by conservative activists more prominent placement than they had an October 26, 2002, protest in Washington, D.C., against the Iraq war -- which reportedly featured a similar or greater turnout. The Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times featured articles about the September 12 protest on their front pages, after the Post had provided only a photo of the Iraq war protest on its front page while printing its article on C1 and the Times had provided its only coverage of the Iraq war protest on page A17; The New York Times and Houston Chronicle both put photos of the September 12 protests on their front pages after providing no front-page coverage of the 2002 Iraq war protest.

Major newspapers give 9-12 march better placement than 2002 anti-war protest

Wash. Post put article about 2009 conservative protest on paper's front page after largely relegating 2002 protest to Metro section. From page A1 of the September 13 edition of The Washington Post:

wapo1

From page A1 of the October 27, 2002, edition of The Washington Post:

wapo2

wapo3

From page C1 of the October 27, 2002, edition of The Washington Post:

wapo4

wapo5

LA Times put 2009 protest on A1, 2002 protests on A17. From page A1 of the September 13 edition of the Los Angeles Times:

lat1

From page A1 of the October 27, 2002, edition of the Los Angeles Times:

lat2

From page A17 of the October 27, 2002, edition of the Los Angeles Times:

lat3

NY Times put photo of 2009 protest on front page but offered no front-page coverage of 2002 rally. From page 1 of the first section of the September 13 edition of The New York Times:

nyt1

From page 1 of the first section of the October 27, 2002, edition of The New York Times:

nyt2

From page 8 of the first section of the October 27, 2002, edition of The New York Times:

nyt3

Houston Chronicle put photo of 2009 protest on front page but offered no front-page coverage of 2002 rally. From page A1 of the September 13 edition of the Houston Chronicle:

ht1

From page A1 of the October 27, 2002, edition of the Houston Chronicle:

ht2

From page A2 of the October 27, 2002, edition of the Houston Chronicle:

ht3

Reported turnout for 2002 protest was similar to or greater than reported turnout for 2009 rally

Turnout estimates for 2002 rally ranged up to 100,000. The Los Angeles Times reported that "[m]ore than 100,000 demonstrators" attended the 2002 Iraq war protest. The Post article -- a version of which the Chronicle ran in 2002 -- reported that the District of Columbia police chief said more people were at the October 26, 2002, rally than had attended a previous rally in which 75,000 participated:

Organizers with International ANSWER, a coalition of antiwar groups that coordinated the demonstration, had hoped for a turnout rivaling that of its pro-Palestine rally in April that officials estimated at about 75,000. Organizers said they easily eclipsed that figure yesterday, assessing attendance at well more than 100,000. D.C. Police Chief Charles H. Ramsey also said he figured yesterday's rally turnout exceeded that in April, but he didn't provide a specific number.

Turnout for 2009 rally estimated in tens of thousands by papers, PolitiFact, ABC. The Post, the Los Angeles Times, and The New York Times reported "tens of thousands" attended the 2009 protest. The Chronicle ran a version of The New York Times article in 2009. FoxNews.com also reported that "tens of thousands" attended. The website PolitiFact.com reported that "Pete Piringer, public affairs officer for the D.C. Fire and Emergency Department ... unofficially told one reporter that he thought between 60,000 and 75,000 people had shown up," and ABCNews.com reported that "approximately 60,000 to 70,000 people flooded Pennsylvania Ave, according to the Washington DC Fire Department."

Kate Conway is an intern with Media Matters for America.

We've changed our commenting system to Disqus.
Instructions for signing up and claiming your comment history are located here.
Updated rules for commenting are here.