Mainstream Media’s One-Sided Coverage of the Great March of Return: a Case Study

Photo by Jonas Moffat | CC BY 2.0

A Gallup poll of March, 2018 about opinions of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict revealed that 64% of Americans sympathize more with Israel, while 19% view the Palestinians more favorably. The fact that the root cause of the conflict is the expulsion of the indigenous population and consequent seizure of much of Palestine by a foreign people seems to be lost on the American public at large. Much of the opinion is a direct result of the generally one-sided coverage of the conflict by the mainstream media.

The coverage of the events of May 14, when the Israeli army killed sixty Palestinians and injured thousands more in Gaza during the Great March of Return, provides a depressing snapshot of the Western media’s treatment of the conflict.

I will focus here on a recent article in the Economist, the British current affairs magazine that has a wide circulation in the United States. It is considered to be conservative economically but liberal politically. The Economist’s article employs many of the tools used by the mainstream media when discussing the conflict. It repeats and accepts as fact Israeli and Western talking points about the conflict without analysis; it uses loaded terminology; it chooses which aspects of the events to focus on in order to present its biased point of view; it almost entirely ignores the larger context in which they have taken place.

The cover of the May 19 – May 24 issue of the Economist depicts a Palestinian…

Read more