Monday, March 11, 2002

Following the theme of last week's Middle East thread, here's an interesting (and fairly balanced) article I came across from the excellent Jewish Weekly, which details Why Israel is Losing The Media War. The Hebrew word for spreading the news is hasbara and this writer finds reporters who care agree that Israel "couldn't be doing a worse job" of hasbara, as one of them puts it.

"The spokespeople don't know how to talk to the camera," he says with exasperation, "they have poor English, they often appear in uniform, which makes them seem like part of the problem, and they speak in bombastic, self-righteous terms."

Surprisingly, the writer makes the case that the Palestinians are great to reporters, providing them with access, photos and all the returned phones calls they can stand. This, of course, flys in the face of reports claiming that TV reporters are regularly threatened by Palestinians with physical injury or death if they dare photograph any image or scene that makes Palestinians look bad.

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