Honest Reporting: The New York Times and Israel

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[H/t Grand Muffti. This goes in the “tell me what I don’t already know” department. HonestReporting has an important analysis of anti-Israel bias in the NYT. Post links to the report on anti-Zionist blogs which claim the newspaper is part of “The Lobby.” Have fun…]

The last HonestReporting long-term analysis of the New York Times was released in November of 2007. At the time, we found that there were several disturbing patterns in how the Times reported events in the Middle East. Our conclusion was that the treatment of Israeli and Palestinian actions was so different, that there could be no question that the reporting was favoring the Palestinians rather than remaining impartial. We highlighted specific cases where headlines dealing with Israeli or Palestinian actions were written in different styles. We also noted that the vast majority of images used by the Times appears reflectively sympathetic to the Palestinians while virtually ignoring the greater context surrounding the conflict.

We have now concluded a broader survey of the Times. Specifically, we looked at 205 articles between July of 2007 and June of 2008. Using this much larger time frame, we found that our original thesis has only been strengthened. Specifically, when reviewing headlines and photographs, it is clear that there is an inherent bias in New York Times reporting about the conflict that favors the Palestinians.

THE NEW YORK TIMES: JULY 2007-JUNE 2008- SUMMARY OF FINDINGS:

  • 82 percent of headlines that introduced articles describing Israeli military operations were written in a direct style in which the words “Israel” or “Israeli Forces” (or a similar phrase) were the subject. In the majority of these cases, no details were given as to whether the casualties were combatants or civilians. An example of this type of headline ran in the Times on January 4, 2008: “Israeli Forces Kill 9 in Gaza.”
  • Only 20 percent of headlines that introduced articles describing Palestinian attacks named the group responsible. Most of these headlines were written in a passive, less direct style that removes responsibility of the attack from those who caused it. An example of this type of headline ran on May 13, 2008: “Rocket Fired from Gaza Kills Woman in Southern Israel.”
  • 75 percent of the photographs that could be objectively determined as drawing sympathy for one side or the other in the conflict favored the Palestinians. Palestinian casualties of Israeli military operations and pictures of civilians dealing with shortages in Gaza dominated Times coverage during the time period studied.

[read it all]

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One response »

  1. Great post. One small detail – The Jewlicious blogger Grand Muffti, not Mufti. He has nothing to do with Islam and his moniker merely reflects his love of muff… ins. Yeah, muffins.

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