The Listening Post

Jerusalem: Media flashpoints and erased narratives

Tropes, omissions and flaws in the coverage of US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Plus, WhatsApp in India.

On The Listening Post this week: The tropes, omissions, and narrative flaws in the coverage of US recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Also, why WhatsApp rumours can be fatal in India.

Covering Trump’s Jerusalem move 

When President Donald Trump announced last week that the US was recognising Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, the international media were quick to fall back on cliche narratives – focusing on the potential for violence while doing little to explain the root causes of Palestinians’ anger.

“US media and international media, in general, has constantly and incessantly taken international voices over that of Palestinians. It strips agency of Palestinians and it helps in the denial of the existence of Palestinians,” says writer Mariam Barghouti. “This comes from not giving us a voice. It comes from stripping our fate and putting in the hands of analysts or experts that are internationals, that do not live here that do not experience the consequences of Israeli oppression.” 

Mariam Barghouti, writer
Daniel Levy, president, US Middle East Project
Jodi Rudoren, executive director, New York Times Global
Yousef Munayyer, executive director, US Campaign for Palestinian Rights

On our Radar

  • It’s the end of an era for Rupert Murdoch’s media empire – in a $66bn deal, the media mogul is selling most of 21st Century Fox’s entertainment assets to Disney.
  • A Saudi-led coalition air raid has hit – potentially targeted – Yemen’s Houthi-controlled state television station Yemen TV, killing four civilians.

Viral rumours, deadly consequences: India’s WhatsApp dilemma

India‘s most widely used messaging service Whatsapp has become the platform of choice for activists, politicians and marketers alike.

However, the country’s WhatsApp habit has a dark side, too. Misinformation, disinformation, rumours, and false messages can go viral, which in at least two cases, had deadly consequences.

Kalyani Chadha, professor of media, University of Maryland
Mohammad Ali, journalist, The Hindu
Vaid Nagar, national director, Gau Raksha Hindu Dal
Pratik Sinha, cofounder, Alt News