Return to the Statistics (home) page Learn more about us. If Americans Knew: what every American needs to know about Israel/Palestine
Statistics History Current Situation US Interests Media Analysis About Us
Blue Top Border

printer symbolPrint Article
letter symbolEmail this Page

     

Media Bias

Why Does Israel Receive So Much Criticism?

Excerpts from this blog

The media has a great hold over the things that interest us, they are the 'agenda setters', they are the people who put so many ideas into our heads. But, in order to discover to what extent this explains the bloggers' actions, we must try to establish how much media time is given to Israel, and also to other countries, such as Sudan, Nigeria, and Palestine.

Once upon a time, it would have been exceedingly difficult to sift through all the articles of the major media establishments, but, thanks to google, this is no longer a problem. I'll be primarily focussing on the American Press, as, after all, most of the world's major press organisations are American. The Nation's Big Ten adequately demonstrates this fact.

It would be unfair at this point to choose solely left-wing or solely right-wing news organisations to analyse, so for the sake of neutrality, I shall choose two of the largest 'right-wing' organisations, two of the largest 'middle-ground' organisations, and two of the largest 'left-wing' organisations, those being Fox News, MSNBC, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, The New York Times, and CNN. I also decided to analyse the BBC, Al-Jazeera and the Jerusalem Post, purely out of personal interest.

Using google, we can search these organisations' websites for keywords, and web-based news media will probably quite fairly represent what's written in the pages of any newspapers produced by said organisations. Admittedly this is a very loose method, because we're not analysing articles in detail, but still, it yields some very interesting results. You can test this yourself, at news.google.com, I used news.google.co.uk, not that I can imagine this would make any difference.

Here are the results:

Sudan
Search string: source:cnn_international (CNN)
Result: 12 from news source CNN International for Sudan.
Search string: source:fox_news Sudan (Fox News)
Result: 9 from news source FOX News for Sudan.
Search string: source:boston_globe Sudan (Boston Globe)
Result: 41 from news source Boston Globe for Sudan.
Search string: source:new_york_times Sudan (New York Times)
Result: 36 from news source New York Times for Sudan.
Search string: source:washington_post Sudan (Washington Post)
Result: 109 from news source Washington Post for Sudan.
Search string: source:msnbc Sudan (MSNBC)
Result: 10 from news source MSNBC for Sudan.
Search string: source:bbc_news Sudan (BBC)
Result: 43 from news source BBC News for Sudan.
Search string: source:aljazeera_net sudan (Al-Jazeera)
Result: 13 for aljazeera-net Sudan.
Search string: source:jerusalem_post Sudan (Jerusalem Post)
Result: 15 from news source Jerusalem Post for Sudan.

Nigeria
Search string: source:cnn_international Nigeria (CNN)
Result: 71 from news source CNN International for Nigeria.
Search string:source:fox_news Nigeria (Fox News)
Result: 23 from news source FOX News for Nigeria.
Search string: source:boston_globe Nigeria (Boston Globe)
Result: 58 from news source Boston Globe for Nigeria.
Search string: source:new_york_times Nigeria (New York Times)
Result: 59 from news source New York Times for Nigeria.
Search string: source:washington_post Nigeria (Washington Post)
Result: 194 from news source Washington Post for Nigeria.
Search string: source:msnbc Nigeria (MSNBC)
Result: 25 from news source MSNBC for Nigeria.
Search string: source:bbc_news Nigeria (BBC)
Result: 109 from news source BBC News for Nigeria.
Search string: source:aljazeera_net nigeria (Al-Jazeera)
Result: 8 from news source Aljazeera.net for nigeria.
Search string: source:jerusalem_post Nigeria (Jerusalem Post)
Result: 13 from news source Jerusalem Post for Nigeria.

Israel
Search string: source:cnn_international Israel (CNN)
Result: 58 from news source CNN International for Israel.
Search string: source:fox_news Israel (Fox News)
Result: 81 from news source FOX News for Israel.
Search string: source:boston_globe Israel (Boston Globe)
Result: 187 from news source Boston Globe for Israel.
Search string: source:new_york_times Israel (New York Times)
Result: 190 from news source New York Times for Israel.
Search string: source:washington_post Israel (Washington Post)
Result: 446 from news source Washington Post for Israel.
Search string: source:msnbc Israel (MSNBC)
Result: 34 from news source MSNBC for Israel.
Search string: source:bbc_news Israel (BBC)
Result: 156 from news source BBC News for Israel.
Search string: source:aljazeera_net israel (Al-Jazeera)
Result: 128 from news source Aljazeera.net for israel.
Search string: source:jerusalem_post Israel (Jerusalem Post)
Result: 1,220 from news source Jerusalem Post for Israel.

Palestine
Search string: source:cnn_international Palestine (CNN)
Result: 6 from news source CNN International for palestine.
Search string: source:fox_news palestine (Fox News)
Result: 8 from news source FOX News for palestine.
Search string: source:boston_globe palestine (Boston Globe)
Result: 31 from news source Boston Globe for palestine.
Search string: source:new_york_times palestine (New York Times)
Result: 42 from news source New York Times for palestine.
Search string: source:washington_post palestine(Washington Post)
Result: 64 from news source Washington Post for palestine.
Search string: source:msnbc palestine (MSNBC)
Result: 5 from news source MSNBC for palestine.
Search string: source:bbc_news palestine (BBC)
Result: 29 from news source BBC News for palestine.
Search string: source:aljazeera_net palestine (Al-Jazeera)
Result: 30 from news source Aljazeera.net for palestine.
Search string: source:jerusalem_post Palestine(Jerusalem Post)
Result: 85 from news source Jerusalem Post for palestine.

Now we get to the interesting stuff: averages. Below are the averages for solely the American organisations:

Palestine: Mentioned an average of 26 times.
Sudan: Mentioned an average of 36 times.
Nigeria: Mentioned an average of 72 times.
Israel: Mentioned an average of 166 times.

So it's clear that the mainstream American media favours discussion about Israel, over that of Palestine, Sudan, and Nigeria combined. Below are the averages for all of the organisations:

Sudan: Mentioned an average of 32 times.
Palestine: Mentioned an average of 33 times.
Nigeria: Mentioned an average of 62 times.
Israel: Mentioned an average of 278 times.

And here are the averages for the organisations outside of the US:

Sudan: Mentioned an average of 24 times.
Nigeria: Mentioned an average of 43 times.
Palestine: Mentioned an average of 48 times.
Israel: Mentioned an average of 501 times.

To be fair, the Jerusalem Post offsets these averages, because it has a sky-high number of references to Israel on its webpages. But still, it is apparent that Israel receives the most mention of the four countries. So when it comes to bloggers being more critical of Israel than other oppressive governments, it really should come as no surprise, for the bloggers are, as I hypothesised, simply products of their environment.

Back to topBack to Top

printer symbolPrint Article

letter symbolEmail This Page

Related Articles

Myra Noveck & The New York Times: Another Journalist With Children In The Israeli Military

Jodi Rudoren, Another Member of the Family: Meet the New York Times’ New Israel-Palestine News Chief

US Media and Israeli Military: All in the Family

Ethan Bronner's Conflict With Impartiality: NYT's Israel Editor's Sticky Situation

Is "pundit" actually Israeli military officer?

AP's Matti Friedman: Israeli citizen and former Israeli soldier

Placing the Fox in Charge of the Hen House
Washington Post Book Reviews on Israel

Some Muslims Are Not Bad:
The Message of PBS’s “Crossroads” Series

More on Bias

Media Report Cards

Deadly Distortion: Associated Press
Jan. 2004 - Dec. 2004

Off the Charts: ABC, CBS, & NBC
Sep. 2000 - Sep. 2001
Jan. 2004 - Dec. 2004

Off the Charts: New York Times
Sep. 2000 - Sep. 2001
Jan. 2004 - Dec. 2004

SF Chronicle (CA) Report Card
Sep. 2000 - Mar. 2001

San Jose Mercury News (CA) Report Card
Oct. 2002 - Mar. 2003

San Jose Mercury News (CA) Report Card
Apr. - Sep. 2002

New London Day (CT) Report Card
Mar. - Jun. 2003

Resources

Times Warp: What The New York Times doesn't tell you about Palestine and Israel

Short Movie: AP Erased Footage of Palestinian Boy Being Shot – Watch Online!

AUPHR Report – Accuracy in Oregonian Coverage of the Palestine / Israel Conflict

FAIR Report – The Illusion of Balance

Book – Bad News from Israel

Leaked Document: Israeli Communications Priorities 2003

Related Organizations

Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting

Committee to Protect Journalists

Reporters Without Borders

Get email updates: Sign Up!


This website is printer-friendly. Please Print this article and share it with your friends and family.