Former Mercury News editor Jerry Ceppos has a few things to say to people who complain that the media has provided more coverage of the injuries suffered by an ABC-TV crew in Iraq than it has to U.S. troops wounded there. “Lots of people feel that they ‘know’ a network anchor, making his injuries newsworthy and personalizing the story of the war and its dangers more than just terrible body counts can,” Ceppos explains in an Mercury News op-ed published Thursday (Feb. 3). He also suggests that readers consult a number of different news sources before criticizing “the media.” And he says “news consumers” should point out errors and ask journalists questions. One big problem he has, however, is that while it’s relatively easy to get ahold of a newspaper editor, it’s almost impossible to reach anyone in charge of a TV newsroom. “The real scandal of American journalism isn’t Jayson Blair. It’s the lack of accountability in broadcasting,” Ceppos writes. Ceppos was in the news business for 36 years and after serving as editor of the San Jose paper, he became a vice president of news at Knight Ridder before retiring.

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