From: The Listening Post

Gaza: Media, myths and the mainstream

A Listening Post special on the global media battle taking place parallel to the Israel-Palestine conflict.

When the latest Gaza war broke out in July, there was a parallel conflict taking place in the global media. Myths and propaganda made their way into mainstream coverage and distorted the already conflicting, and highly contentious narratives.

Critics of Israeli government PR did not just take issue with the spin from the office of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, they lamented the fact that mainstream Western media bought into that story too readily. And there were pro-Palestinian voices questioning Israel’s emphasis on so-called “human shields”, calling for more contextualised reporting.

The pro-Israel camp then came back with a media counter-offensive, accusing the international media of directing too much attention to Palestinian suffering and underreporting the missiles fired by Hamas.

Our lead report addresses these arguments with help from Yousef Munayyer, the director of the Palestine Center in Washington, DC and journalist and author Rula Jebreal – two commentators who themselves took media bias to task on the air of mainstream US networks. We also spoke with Philip Weiss, co-editor of Mondoweiss; and Lahav Harkov, Knesset reporter for The Jerusalem Post.

Much of the battle of ideas continues to take place on social media, where Israel and its supporters face-off with voices who stand apart from the established media on the Israel-Palestine story. In our ALT.MEDIA segment, we showcase some of the key online outlets who are challenging the mainstream: Electronic Intifada, Mondoweiss, +972 Magazine and Visualizing Palestine.

And none of this is to forget the reporters on the ground bringing the reality of the war to audiences around the world.

The Listening Post’s Will Yong asks what it meant for Gazan journalists who were covering a war that was fought outside their own front doors, focusing on the only Gazan reporting for an Israeli paper, and interviewing the editor of an Israeli newspaper who sees his outlet’s job as telling Israel’s side of the story.