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Wednesday, March 22, 2006

The French Hill Book Club: #2

Alright, I never put this next book on my reading list. Namely, because I read it in less than 2 hours a couple of Shabbatot ago and just forgot or saw no reason to put it on. But, I still definitely think it's worth the read even-though it only takes a couple of hours, or less than a day if you're a slower reader, to get through. Well, it's only slightly more than a 100 pages long. I first became aware of this book from Honest Reporting. It's called Covering the Intifada: How the Media Reported the Palestinian Uprising. It's written by Joshua Muravchik, Ph.D. The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, one of the foremost think tanks in the world published the work.

The book is a collection of "episodes". 10 different events that the author felt were the main events that shaped the coverage of the Second Intifada. He goes through the newspapers and the major news networks and systematically break down their coverage of how they reported the Intifada. Did they use "editorial" like language that goes outside the boundaries of what would be classified as objective reporting? Do they ommit pertinent facts from a given story or event? What kind of sources do they use to verify a statistic or account of an event? Are they reliable and verified as legitimate? These are the kinds or questions that Dr Muravchik utilyzes to answer the most basic of queries; How did the media report the uprising? Though it is short (In the Foreword, the Istitute discusses how this will be an ongoing research project and that there will be more issues on the subject to come.), it is extremely thorough. I feel that Dr Muravchik is as objective as a person can be. He even admits and qualifies in his introduction that it would be impossible for any-one analyzing this kind of conflict to be completely objective since everyone has a starting opinion on the matter. In the end, very little of that subjectivity shows through, and his thorough methodology and analysis diminishes his capacity to be subjective and unfair.

I give the book 3 3/4 stars.


At 2:45 AM, Blogger solitarioh2005 said...

Interesting topic, indeed.
As I wrote in the other post I believe the conflict in palestine has also been a media and diplomatic conflict.
It is therefore very interesting to analyse how the media does cover the conflict.

At 12:56 PM, Blogger Olah Chadasha said...

sol, unfortunately for Israel, the Palestinians have come to understand the power of PR and the media. They have been able to utylize it far better than Israel. Members of the media have admitted that they have a tendency to curve a story to root for the under-dog, and that's how they see the Palestinians. If I try to elaborate on this further, it would go on for a while, so let advice you to go to an excellent site that's doing research on this very subject:
I think you will find it very informative.

At 12:57 PM, Blogger solitarioh2005 said...

Thanks a lot for the link. I totally agree that the palestinians were much better when it comes to PR. Besides there is a deep rooted european antisemitism.


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