AP Stuck at 5,400

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For someone who reads occasionally about the heavy coverage on Syria, what would you say if that person read that in one year of fighting only 5,400 were killed in Syria?

If I was that person, disconnected totally from Syria, but a US citizen who pays taxes, has concerns over the fiscal deficit, concerns about our military “policing the world”, and follows Ron Paul or President Obama when it comes to foreign policy, I would say “What’s the big deal” or “It’s none of our business”?

Even if that person has viewed some of the horror images and videos emanating from Syria and sees his/her humanitarian side a more compelling judge of logic, he/she will start questioning the intense Syria coverage in relation to the casualties.

This morning, the Associated Press has an article published by Fox News in which it states “The U.N. estimated in January that 5,400 people were killed in the conflict in 2011″.

Why would AP refer to a casualty number that has no merit and is known to be false in relation to today’s real casualty figures? Here are some sources the AP service can rely upon to print more accurate information.

Statisfaction is an effort that keeps a statistical approach to counting casualties by relying on outside reliable data from different official sources. In its Daily Casualties in Syria section, it points to various data published by all the sources keeping count.

For example, the Syrian Government count as of Feb. 14 is 3,895 (That includes its own casualties) but the closest number to the Syrian government is one made by Foreign Minister Alain Juppé on Feb. 1, which stated that 7,000 Syrians have been killed since the Revolution started on March 15, 2011. The highest number recorded is by The Violation Documentation Center (Arabic) at 8,539 as of Feb. 23. VDC is relied upon by the stellar work of Human Rights Watch.

AP’s figure is 58% lower than the highest recorded and 30% lower than the lowest recorded. 

So why is AP stuck at 5.400 then when it has access to verifiable data by 5 different credible sources all of which state higher figures with the exception of the figure of those doing the killing or those who stopped counting altogether?


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