The Intercept: How are major U.S. newspapers covering the war in Gaza? | News

A quantitative analysis by The Intercept concluded that coverage by major U.S. newspapers in the six weeks preceding the attacks on Gaza showed a strong bias in favor of Israel.

The website stated that the New York Times, Washington Post and Los Angeles Times have consistently been biased against Palestinians in their coverage of Israel’s Gaza war.

The website explains in its report that the print media, which plays an important role in shaping U.S. public opinion on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, has not paid much attention to the unprecedented impact that Israel’s blockade and bombing campaign has had on Israeli children and journalists. Gaza Strip.

Disproportionate coverage

He said major U.S. newspapers have disproportionately highlighted Israeli deaths in the conflict, used emotive language to describe the killings of Israelis without doing the same for Palestinian deaths, and criticized U.S. anti-Semitic actions. Unbalanced coverage, while anti-Semitic actions were largely ignored. – Muslim racism after attacks. October 7, Israel.

Pro-Palestinian activists have accused major newspapers of being biased against Israel, with The New York Times witnessing protests in front of its Manhattan headquarters over its coverage of the Gaza war, a charge backed by analysis by The Intercept.

The Intercept's open-source analysis focuses on the first six weeks of the conflict, during which Israeli bombing of Gaza killed 14,800 Palestinians, including more than 6,000 children.

The Intercept collected more than a thousand articles from the New York Times, Washington Post, and Los Angeles Times about Israel’s war in Gaza and documented the use of some key terms and the context in which they were used.

Serious flaws

She said statistics show a significant imbalance in the way Israeli and pro-Israel figures are reported versus Palestinian and pro-Palestinian voices, using methods that favor the Israeli narrative over the Palestinian narrative.

She commented that this anti-Palestinian bias in print media combined with a similar survey of US television news conducted by the analysis authors last month found even greater disparities.

The risks of this routine devaluation of Palestinian lives are not small. As Gaza's death toll continues to rise, with entire cities razed to the ground and rendered uninhabitable for years and entire families wiped out, the U.S. government, as Israel's main sponsor and weapons supplier, wields enormous influence. Media exposure to the conflict means that U.S. support for Israel has less negative political consequences.

Prospects bleak for Palestine

Reports in the first six weeks of the war painted a bleak picture of the Palestinian side, making it more difficult to humanize the Palestinians and arouse U.S. sympathy for them, analysts said.

The website explains that it searched the three newspapers for any articles containing relevant terms (such as “Palestine,” “Gaza,” “Israel,” etc.). He analyzed every sentence in each article and counted the number of specific terms.

He said the coverage survey he conducted had four main results:

  • Deaths reported disproportionately

In all three newspapers, the word “Israel” or “Israel” appears more frequently than “Palestinian” or its variations, even though Palestinians have been killed more than Israelis. For every death, Palestinians were mentioned once, and for every Israeli death, Israelis were mentioned eight times, for an average of 16 more mentions per Palestinian death.

  • 'Massacre' Israelis, not Palestinians

According to The Intercept , highly emotive words that express the killing of civilians, such as “massacre,” “carnage,” and “horrible,” are almost exclusively used for Israelis killed by Palestinians, rather than the other way around.

He added that editors and reporters use the word “massacre” to describe Israelis being killed against Palestinians at a ratio of 60 to 1, and “massacre” to describe Israelis being killed against Palestinians at a ratio of 125 to 2. kill. The word “horrendous” was used to describe the Israeli killings of Palestinians, which were outnumbered 36 to 4.

The Washington Post used the word “massacre” several times in its reports to describe the October 7 attack. “President Biden faces growing pressure from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle to punish Iran following the Hamas massacre.”

A Washington Post report published on November 13 described how Israel’s siege and bombing claimed the life of one in two hundred Palestinians, without once using the word “massacre” or “Holocaust” . Palestinians are simply “killed” or “died,” usually in the passive voice.

  • children and reporters

The website also noted that of the more than 1,100 news articles included in the study, only two headlines mentioned the word “children” in relation to Gaza's children. One notable exception was the New York Times' front page report in late November that reported the historic rate of massacres of Palestinian women and children, even though the headlines did not mention children or women.

He added that although Israel's war on Gaza was probably the bloodiest for children, the majority of whom are Palestinians, the word “children” and related terms were not mentioned in the titles of the articles in the study.

While the Gaza war is one of the bloodiest in modern history for journalists, the majority of whom are Palestinians, the word “journalist” and its duplicates (such as “journalist” and “photographer”) are used in more than 1,100 articles Researched appears in only 9 titles in the article. During the ceasefire, some 48 Palestinian journalists were killed by Israeli bombings, and today the death toll among Palestinian journalists has exceeded 100. However, only four of the nine articles containing the words “journalist” and “correspondent” were about Arab journalists.

The Intercept commented that the lack of coverage of the unprecedented killings of children and journalists, groups that typically draw sympathy from Western media, was glaring. By comparison, more Palestinian children died in the first week of bombings in Gaza than in the first year of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, yet the New York Times, Washington Post and Los Angeles Times all published stories highlighting the war in Ukraine sympathetic reporting.

The website commented that the asymmetry in the way children are covered is both qualitative and quantitative. On October 13, the Los Angeles Times published an Associated Press report saying: “The Gaza Health Ministry said on Friday that 1,799 people have been killed in the area, including more than 580 children under the age of 18 and 351 women. Last Saturday , Hamas attacks killed more than 1,300 people in Israel, including women, children, and young music festivalgoers. Note that Israeli youths are referred to as children, while Palestinian youths are referred to as under 18 years old.

This repeated refusal to refer to Palestinians as children is most evident in discussions of the prisoner exchange, with the New York Times at one point referring to “Israeli women and children” being exchanged for “Palestinian women and minors.”

The Washington Post’s Nov. 21 report announcing the armistice completely deleted the words “Palestinian women and children”: “The president said Joe Biden In a statement on Tuesday night, “an agreement was reached to release 50 women and children held hostage by Hamas in Gaza in exchange for 150 Palestinian prisoners held by Israel.” The briefing made no mention of Palestinian women and children at all.

American Hate Report

Likewise, when it comes to how the conflict in Gaza fuels hatred in the United States, major newspapers focus more on anti-Semitic attacks than on attacks against Muslims, the Intercept continued. Overall, there is a disproportionate focus on racism against Jews, rather than racism against Muslims, Arabs, or people perceived as Muslim.

During the Intercept's study, the three newspapers studied mentioned anti-Semitism more often than Islamophobia (549 compared to 79), and this was before the “campus anti-Semitism” controversy he sparked. republican In Congress.

Although there were many high-profile incidents of anti-Semitism and anti-Muslim racism during the survey, 87% mentioned discrimination surrounding anti-Semitism, while 13% mentioned Islamophobia, including related terms.

When major newspapers fail

Overall, the killings of Palestinians in Gaza have not received as much coverage, both in scope and emotional weight, as the killings of Israelis on 7 October. These killings are often described as arbitrarily high. Hamas' killings of Israeli civilians have always been described as part of the group's strategy, while killings of Palestinian civilians are viewed almost as a series of one-off mistakes made thousands of times, even though many actions demonstrate Israel's intent to harm civilians and base Facilities. Civil use.

The result is that the three major newspapers provide little humanitarian coverage of the Palestinians.

Despite biased coverage of Israel

Despite this disparity, polls show a shift in Democrats' sympathy for Palestinians and a shift toward sympathy for Israelis, a large generational divide driven in part by stark differences in news sources . Overall, we found that younger adults get their information from TikTok, YouTube, Instagram, and Twitter, while older Americans get their information from print media and the news.

The Intercept said biased reporting by major newspapers and mainstream TV news influenced public perceptions of the war and led viewers to create a distorted view of the conflict, leading pro-Israel critics to blame pro-Palestinian views on social media’s “mistakes.” information”.

However, analysis of print media and television news shows that if any group of media consumers acquires a biased image, it is because of the news broadcast by America's established media, he concluded.

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