Sunday, January 4, 2009

Eyes on Gaza

I’ve just turned off the news coverage on Al Jazeera. It appears there is only one news story for the station - the conflict in Gaza. Al Jazeera’s coverage makes little pretense of objectivity but I don’t find this surprising. What I do find disturbing, however, is the sense that the residents of the United States again are not able to fully appreciate public opinion across the world because of the news media in the United States.

Scanning across the major newspapers in the United States, I see the war in Gaza gets coverage above the fold (if one can use that term for a website) but the worldwide protests get very little coverage or are not mentioned at all. What about the 700,000 people demonstrating in Istanbul? I’m assuming that Al Jazeera is not conjuring up that demonstration. If such crowds are demonstrating in a country that is an important US ally in the region, it bodes ill for US policy. Likewise, the demonstrations in Indonesia, the largest Muslim country in the world, are not mentioned in most of the papers I read.

I can understand Israel’s point - invading to stop rocket fire - but its justification appears empty to many across the world and the carnage of the invasion will only sow more hate. From these seeds of violence will grow more fighters driven by hatred of Israel.

US citizens who receive their news through the US news media are unlikely to grasp the horror of this war, or to understand the worldwide reaction to it.


JTapp said...

I'd say much of the major network television coverage in the U.S. (I don't get cable) has shifted mostly to portray the killing of children and the frustration of the UN. Particularly the reports on PBS that pick up the Independent Television News journalists' stories.

Facebook is one forum where I've seen outrage, several users have given their status updates to a feed reader that updates regularly with atrocities and talks of the protests.

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