e. Media representations of the conflict
14. Study of BBC reporting of the conflict
BBC website report BBC ‘must improve Mid-East view’ 2 May 2006 Full report
Dan Sabbagh BBC news ‘favours Israel’ at expense of Palestinian view The Times 3rd May 2006
Israel and the Palestinians: Key terms
The BBC Governors’ independent panel report on the impartiality of BBC coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict recommended that the BBC should make public an abbreviated version of its journalists’ guide to facts and terminology.
The follwoing terms are discussed:
Assassinations Barrier Border “Cycle of violence” East Jerusalem Fence Gaza Strip Green Line Intifada Jerusalem Jewish “Middle East expert” Occupied territories/occupation Outposts Palestine Palestinian Land Palestinian Territories “Peace process” Relative calm Right of return Settlements Settler numbers Terrorists Wall
Alison Weir, Founder and Executive Director of If Americans Knew
c. 6,200 words
Chapter excerpted from Censored 2005: The Top 25 Censored Stories
(Seven Stories Press; 2004)
FAIR Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting, August 22, 2003
c. 700 words
A brief analysis of reporting in the US media in the period leading to the breakdown of the ceasefire towards the end of August 2003.FAIR was founded in 1986 by Jeff Cohen as ‘a media watch organization offering constructive criticism in an effort to correct media imbalance. We advocate for media access on behalf of those constituencies in our society that do not have the wealth to purchase their own TV stations or daily newspapers…’
‘The most monumental cover-up in media history may be the one I’m about to describe. I my entire experience with American journalism, I have never found anything as extreme sustained, and omnipresent.’
10. The perils of professionalism: the BBC in the Middle East
Open Democracy, 1 August, 2003
c. 2,100 words
The BBC, under intense pressure in Britain itself over its coverage of the Iraq war, faces challenges to its professionalism and impartiality in an equally controversial political arena: Israel and Palestine. Sarah McGregor-Wood and Hillel Schenker of the Palestine-Israel Journal interview the BBC¹s Middle East bureau chief, Andrew Steele, about the dangers and satisfactions of getting the story, telling the truth and taking the rap from both sides.
The Luntz Research Companies and the Israel Project, April 2003
An extremely interesting analysis of how to ‘sell’ support for Israel in political lobbying in the US in the context of the Road map. Its cynicism (realism?) as to what sells and how is breathtaking.
“You will have your work cut out for you… The essential conclusion is to remain focussed on your communications priorities from this point forward. Terrorism ends first. A willing peace partner emerges second. The roadmap is executed last. And throughout it all you exhibit humility and reaaffirm that the Palestinian people deserve better.”
Ha’aretz, 24 February 2003
‘If there is no occupation, no appalling wrongs and no war crimes, the only possible conclusion is that the Palestinians really were born bloodthirsty. The news pages and the current events programs on radio and television shape public opinion in this way more than a thousand learned and enlightened op-eds.’
7. Always a fighter, always a terrorist
Ha’aretz, Wednesday, October 09, 2002
How language is manipulated so that Palestinians are always terrorists, Israelis never so.
The pro-Zionist Honest Reporting website is a good place to start if you want to try and understand how Israel can be seen as ‘the victim’ in the current conflict.
The Guardian comes in for some heavy criticism in The Guardian’s Demonization Campaign
The articles seem to change often and previous urls no longer work. So go to the main website and serch for yourself…
Greg Philo of the Glasgow University Media Group explains
The Guardian, 16 April 2002
New research suggests that television news fails to inform young people about what’s going on in the Occupied Territories, or why.
The readers’ editor on… criticism of our Middle East coverage Ian Mayes
The Guardian, May 18, 2002
‘This week I circulated Guardian staff, and not just the journalists, with the following questionnaire: Do you think the Guardian’s Middle East coverage has been fair or unfair to the Israeli side? Has it been fair or unfair to the Palestinians? Has it been anti-semitic? Has it been anti-Islam (or anti- Palestinian). Do you think the coverage has changed in any way in recent weeks?’ Supposedly continued the following week, but I have not found the second piece yet.
Nigel Parry, The Electronic Intifada
nd (c. 2002?)
A comprehensive overview of how bias operates in media reporting of the conflict, written as an introduction to the elecroinic intifada website. ‘What are we left with? Israeli and international journalists report from a distance on the Palestinians, from a society which views Palestinians as threatening, and a society which is highly sensitised to how its perception of the conflict is reported.’
Kathleen Christison, former CIA political analyst
Cunerpunch, 19 August 2002
‘The Times understands historic Jewish fears and the impact these have on American Jews when they see Israelis under attack, but it generally isn’t able to apply this same level of understanding to Arabs and their sense of solidarity with fellow Arabs under attack.’
Steve McNally A reflective account of the pressures, visible and unconscious, on Western reporters in Israel: ‘We live in fear of Palestinian suicide bombers or gunmen, not in fear of Israeli tank and aerial assaults. I’m conscious of their particular bent, but a lot of the Jewish reality has become my reality.’