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Reporters only hearing one side of the story?

Why do news reporters often get their reporting about Israeli-Palestinian issues so badly wrong?

A new wrinkle to the controversy surrounding Israel's decision to approve housing projects in Jerusalem suburbs and east Jerusalem neighbourhoods (following up on my earlier blog posts on the subject on December 4 and December 11) suggests one answer.

For propaganda purposes: Palestinian children in Australian media spark Israeli criticism

Recently two Israeli commentators have focussed on a disturbing trend in Australian media, and its problematic coverage of the delicate issue of the role of Palestinian children in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

BBC admits bias in its “Arab Spring,” Itamar coverage

In a rare admission this week of what many who follow the organization have long observed, the British Broadcasting Corporation admitted that significant aspects of its coverage of the "Arab Spring" uprisings had been biased. They have also apologised, albeit somewhat half-heartedly, for a failure to report one of the most heinous terror attacks in recent years against Israelis.

How about an award for hypocrisy?

Hypocrisy frequently rears its ugly head in the Middle East, but the Palestinian Authority (PA) has just succeeded in producing something close to a new examplar on the issue of media freedom. As a Jerusalem Post editorial ("Palestinian responsibility", 2/4/2012) has documented, the Palestinian Authority is intensifying an ongoing crackdown on journalists operating in the West Bank, while at the same time it's introducing a new award honouring press freedom.

Positive Palestinian racers profile couldn’t avoid token Israel swipes

This weekend's Fairfax papers included a report on an all-female Palestinian racing team by Ruth Pollard. While the piece was an interesting read overall, there are one or two small inconsistencies that are worth noting. In addition to this, there were a number of instances where the Age inserted small changes to make the tone of the article seem more anti-Israel. Some of these have been noted below.

Pollard profiles Noor Daoud, a Palestinian woman who won an Israeli formula-three competition last month. In the interview, Daoud explains how it is that she can no longer drive on the road.

''It is not the first time I have driven 200km/h - I lost my licence in 2009 when...

Palestinian refugees chased out of homes by shelling

Israel has been accused of many deeds over the years. Removed from their context, the below paragraphs from a report in The Guardian could almost sound like an exaggerated report on an Israeli military operation in the 2008/09 Gaza conflict - the kind that would be released by Palestinian state-controlled media outlets.

UNRWA, the UN agency that aids Palestinian refugees, said the camp's residents fled after [the city] came under fire from gunboats and ground troops over the weekend. It was not immediately clear where the refugees were seeking shelter.

... The Local Coordination Committees, an activist group that helps organize protests... also confirmed troops fired at fleeing families. It said random gunfire erupted Monday in addition to a campaign of raids and house-to-house arrests...

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Media Microscope: Even Fiskier than Usual

Robert Fisk is widely respected among journalists as an authority on the Middle East, even though his writing often makes him more an extreme anti-West polemicist than a journalist.

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