The threat of war in Iraq is driving increasing numbers of Americans to British and international news web sites in search of the broader picture.

According to the internet audience management and analysis company, Nielsen NetRatings, traffic to the UK's biggest news sites, BBC News Online and Guardian Unlimited, has increased dramatically over the past year. Many of these new users are from the US.

Jon Dennis, deputy news editor of the Guardian Unlimited web site said: "We have noticed an upsurge in traffic from America, primarily because we are receiving more emails from US visitors thanking us for reporting on worldwide news in a way that is unavailable in the US media."

The American public is apparently turning away from the mostly US-centric American media in search of unbiased reporting and other points of views. Much of the US media's reaction to France and Germany's intransigence on the Iraqi war issue has verged on the xenophobic, even in the so-called 'respectable' press. Some reporting has verged on the hysterical - one US news web site,, recently captioned a photograph of young German anti-war protesters as "Hitler's children".

Mr Dennis said: "American visitors are telling us they are unable to find the breadth of opinion we have on our web site anywhere else because we report across the political spectrum rather than from just one perspective.

"We're finally having an impact on the American consciousness. We're on the radar."

The BBC News Online web site has also noticed an increase in page views since Christmas 2002, with roughly 50 per cent of their visitors logging-on from outside the UK.

Mike Smartt, editor-in-chief of BBC News Online told dotJournalism: "Page views on the site have risen between 10 and 20 per cent and feedback tells us that visitors come to us for more impartial, even-handed news coverage as American reportage can be rather US-centric."

Many European news networks have also noticed an increase in visitors from the USA. "The number of American users has risen to 60 per cent of all visitors to the World News Network sites since the beginning of January," said Emilio Larlori, marketing manager for the World News Network.

Much of the feedback to European news web sites suggests people are no longer relying solely on the media in their own country for accurate and objective reporting. The internet has now become the home to a diversity of opinion as people choose to make up their own minds on how world situations are taking shape, no longer content with their own localised coverage.

People now seem to be exercising their right to information an a global scale and, according to Mr Larlori, the influx of American visitors to non-American news sites illustrates this. "Visitors from the USA are using our English-language news sites more now than ever, as they are looking for news on the international situation. They want more information and more opinions on what's happening with Iraq."

Alternative news sites such as and YearZero have also seen an increase traffic in recent months. Last weekend's international peace rallies were co-ordinated via the internet at a speed and efficiency that would have been unimaginable during the last Gulf war in 1991.

This time round, in such a diverse news climate, governments will find it increasingly difficult to propagandise.



From Michael Boone, 17:51 26 February 2006

That is the case with me, more and more. I particularly like
Ananova gets some stuff once in a while also. A lot of the British tabloids put up stuff I wouldn't feed my dog, but that's a matter of
taste I reckon.

Why you can use European news sites to help in your daily news search is
for corroboration. I hope I spelled that right! But anyway, there is
damn little corroboration available here in the states. And speed in
breaking a major story is non-existant here. I learned about the
Russian and Iranian supposed agreement on uranium enrichment off of the
Irish guys, not off of an american site.

America is fed a steady diet of who is groping whom at a night club,
what rapper's bodyguard was recently shot, and what the Bush
administration says is gospel truth on any subject. What drivel.

Elizabeth Croad had some alternative news sites listed on her article
and I intend to bookmark them. I appreciate the news in truth, not in

Keep up the good work. Apparently you are having some success with what
you are doing.

Michael Boone
A and M Log Export LLC

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