CAJJP: Nova Scotia newspapers favour Israel, ignore Palestinians

Canadians, Arabs and Jews for a Just Peace

News Release, May 22, 2012

N.S. newspapers favour Israel, ignore Palestinians

Nova Scotia daily newspaper coverage of the Middle East favours Israel and almost never quotes Palestinians, a study has found.

Jim Guild of Canadians, Arabs and Jews for a Just Peace (CAJJP) searched and analyzed more than 500 stories published between Dec. 1,2011 and May 15, 2012 that contained the word Israel or Palestinian.

Israel appeared in 467 stories and Palestinian in only 68, said Mr. Guild, a volunteer researcher with the Halifax-based group. “Fewer than 10 of the 500 plus stories quoted a Palestinian, and usually at the end of the story,” he said. “Israeli government officials were quoted or cited in all stories reviewed.”

No mention was made in any published story of the recently-ended hunger strike by more than 2,000 Palestinians imprisoned in Israeli jails; and Israel’s 45-year-old occupation of the West Bank and Gaza was mentioned in only a few stories.

And only one story stated that Israeli settlements in the West Bank were illegal –- UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said so in a Feb. 2 story published in the Cape Breton Post.

Nearly all the news stories are produced by Associated Press and are presumably available to all the province’s daily newspapers, Mr. Guild said. The Chronicle-Herald published the most stories, but was “particularly inclined to not publish stories that cast Israel in a unflattering light”.

Many such stories were published, however, in daily newspapers in Amherst, Truro, New Glasgow and Sydney.

To better understand why there is such an imbalance, CAJJP has organized a panel discussion entitled “Silencing Israel’s Critics” on Thursday (May 24) at 7 p.m. at Sobeys Room 255 at St. Mary’s University.

Panel members are author Jon Thompson, journalists Bruce Wark and Miles Howe, Jane MacMillan of Canadians, Arabs and Jews for a Just Peace.

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