Mainstream Media's Accountability

Posted on Saturday, July 22 at 09:26 by FurGaia

A stunning media imbalance is revealed by studies of U.S. coverage of the Palestinian uprising. Analysis of the San Jose Mercury News by Alison Wier, a former Sausalito editor, showed that it covered 73 per cent of Israeli deaths on its front page from April to September, 2001, compared to just five per cent of Palestinian deaths.

Cursory readers of the paper would be left with the impression that 500 Israelis -- but only about 100 Palestinian civilians -- had been killed in the current uprising, when the real figures are 700 Israelis and 2,000 Palestinian.

According to the media watchdog organization, Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR), National Public Radio (NPR) in the U.S. fared somewhat better, reporting 34 per cent of Palestinian deaths and 81 per cent of Israeli deaths in the first six months of 2001.

However, the distortion was much worse in the emotionally-charged category of dead children. Only 20 per cent of the killings of Palestinian children were reported, compared to 89 per cent for Israeli children. In other words, being less than 18 years old makes your death more newsworthy to NPR if you are Israeli, but less newsworthy if you are Palestinian. [Our humanity in the balance]

Cross-blogged at Filasteen [Proofreader's note: this article was edited for spelling and typos on July 24, 2006]

Note: Our humanity in the bal... Filasteen

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