Monday, November 19, 2012

Israel and Gaza Continue to Fire

Here is a BBC news video on the air strikes in Israel and Gaza and the possible consequences surrounding the death of Ahmad Jabari, head of the Hamas military.

            One aspect of the conflict between Israel and Hamas that intrigues me is the media coverage. The accounts of what have happened are slightly different based on the news source you watch/read. BBC news stays impartial for the most part, however, focuses a bit more on the Israeli's than the Palestinians points of view. For example, if you click here you will see an article about how Israel is protecting itself by using an Iron Dome, which intercepts rockets that are being fired from Gaza. The Iron Dome has intercepted 245 rockets and has been 90 percent successful in all its attempts. I think the use of a video to show how there is this box-like machine that fires rockets, which intercept the missiles sent from Gaza, is a good way for people to understand how the defense mechanism works. Seeing a rocket being fired in the video also brings home the idea of what it must be like for people in the region of Israel and Gaza during this hectic time of missile firing. If you contrast BBC News coverage to Aljazeera then you will get slightly different points of view. Aljazeera clearly covers the point of view of those Palestinians who are suffering in Gaza. I'm not saying that BBC news doesn't, but Aljazeera covers that angle more. They have an article on their home page that is talking about how a 100 Palestinians have died and how of those killed many were Palestinian children. Aljazeera tends to side with the Palestinians more than Israel in their news reports. On the other hand, CNN seems to be reporting more heavily about the U.S. involvement with Israel and therefore focusing more of its stories on Israelis. I believe there is a bit of a political agenda behind the reporting on the air strikes in Israel and Gaza. I think that since the U.S. fully backs up Israel that we tend to show partiality with them, while on the other hand Aljazeera shows a partiality towards the Palestinians. BBC news does a pretty good job of trying to stay objective in the situation. One feature that BBC has on their website is a live news feed from the region. I think that constant coverage and updates like that make BBC news a more competitive and reliable news source for coverage in the Middle East.

          I think that it is important for news sources to try and remain as impartial as possible so that the citizens of the countries involved/affiliated in the conflict may see the facts more clearly. This is a prime time for an example of how autonomy between the press and the government are important. In the past the government has used the press for propaganda during or before war times. I think that Americans should be aware of this and follow up with news sources that are outside the U.S., such as BBC news and Aljazeera, to insure they are well informed and not receiving partial facts. It is also important to see how international news sources like BBC paint America. It allows us to hold a mirror up to ourselves and ask if we like what others are saying about us. BBC news does a good job of holding up a mirror to all parties involved in the air strikes taking place between Israel and Gaza.

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