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Are U.S. newspapers biased against Palestinians? Analysis of 100,000 headlines in top dailies says, Yes

US Politics Dorgham Abusalim on January 12, 2019 10 Comments


A study released last month by 416Labs, a Toronto-based consulting and research firm, supports the view that mainstream U.S. newspapers consistently portray Palestine in a more negative light than Israel, privilege Israeli sources, and omit key facts helpful to understanding the Israeli occupation, including those expressed by Palestinian sources.


Key findings of the study are:


- Since 1967, use of the word “occupation” has declined by 85% in the Israeli dataset of headlines, and by 65% in the Palestinian dataset;


- Since 1967, mentions of Palestinian refugees have declined by an overall 93%;

Israeli sources are nearly 250% more likely to be quoted as Palestinians;


- The number of headlines centering Israel were published four times more than those centering Palestine;


- Words connoting violence such as “terror” appear three times as much as the word “occupation” in the Palestinian dataset;


- Explicit recognition that Israeli settlements and settlers are illegal rarely appears in both datasets;


- Since 1967, mentions of “East Jerusalem,” distinguishing that part of the city occupied by Israel in 1967 from the rest of the city, appeared only a total of 132 times;


- The Los Angeles Times has portrayed Palestinians most negatively, followed by The Wall Street Journal, Chicago Tribune, Washington Post, and lastly The New York Times;


- Coverage of the conflict has reduced dramatically in the second half of the fifty-year period.


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