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What Were the Shortcomings in British Media Coverage of the Gaza War?

Credits: WHYY

Over the past five months, there has been significant scrutiny of the British media’s coverage of Israel’s actions in Gaza, with many experts, journalists, and activists pointing out biases in the reporting.

A new report from the Muslim Council of Britain’s Centre of Media Monitoring (CfMM) provides empirical evidence to support these concerns.

The report, based on the largest statistical analysis of media coverage of the conflict, examined 180,000 video clips and 26,000 news articles from UK and international broadcasters and media websites.

It found that Israeli narratives and grievances were often favored over Palestinian voices and rights, leading to the exclusion and erasure of Palestinian perspectives.

Gaza war aftermath (Credits: Diakonia)

The study identified several key issues with the coverage, including the use of emotive language for Israeli victims but not as much for Palestinians, allowing representatives of Israel to dehumanize Palestinians without pushback, and presenting news from an Israeli perspective with lapses in fact-checking.

One concerning finding was the misrepresentation of pro-Palestinian voices and activists, with right-wing media particularly hostile towards them.

The report also highlighted instances of misinformation, such as the failure to contextualize the conflict as a decades-long issue of oppression and occupation.

The report also noted instances where misinformation was not corrected, such as a defense analyst claiming that “the West Bank is occupied by Palestinians” without challenge from the presenter, despite this claim being contrary to international law and the reality on the ground.

The report underscores the need for more balanced and accurate reporting on the Israel-Palestine conflict in the British media, focusing on including diverse voices and providing context to the ongoing issues in the region.

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