Pro-Israel bias found in US TV news

Television coverage of the Middle East conflict in the US slants news towards Israel's point of view by giving disproportionate coverage to Israeli deaths, a journalist says.

    US networks give 4.4 times more coverage to Israeli deaths

    Independent journalist Alison Weir said on Monday: "Our analysis reveals troubling patterns of omissions and disparities in emphasis that, we feel, profoundly hamper the ability of viewers to understand this conflict."

    ABC, CBS and NBC gave 3.0 to 4.4 times more coverage to Israeli deaths than they gave to Palestinian deaths in 2000-2001, at the beginning of the intifada or popular uprising against Israeli occupation, and again in 2004, said Weir, founder of If America Knew.

     

    The difference is even greater when the networks cover children, giving 9.0 to 12.8 times more coverage in 2004 to deaths of Israeli children than to deaths of Palestinian children.


    No justification

    "We could find no basis on which to justify this inequality in coverage," she said.

     

    "Our analysis reveals troubling patterns of omissions and disparities in emphasis that, we feel, profoundly hamper the ability of viewers to understand this conflict"

    Alison Weir,
    independent journalist and founder of If America Knew

    Weir offered several possible sources for bias: Israeli public-relations campaigns; journalists who are based in Israel; US news media bending to pro-Israel pressures; or pro-Israel leanings of reporters, editors or media owners.

     

    She said the networks had not responded to her study.

     

    Weir used statistics supplied by Israeli human-rights group B'Tselem Israeli Centre for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories, which seeks to change Israeli policy in the conflict.

    SOURCE: AFP


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