Pens and Swords

How the American Mainstream Media Report the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Pens and Swords

As world attention is renewed and refocused on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict at the sixtieth anniversary of its seminal year of 1948, Marda Dunsky takes a close look at how more than two dozen major American print and broadcast outlets have reported the conflict in recent years. Les mer
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Pens and Swords

As world attention is renewed and refocused on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict at the sixtieth anniversary of its seminal year of 1948, Marda Dunsky takes a close look at how more than two dozen major American print and broadcast outlets have reported the conflict in recent years. Beginning with the failed Camp David summit of July 2000 through the waning of the second Palestinian uprising in the summer of 2004, she finds that the media omit two key contextual elements: the significant impact that U.S. policy has had and continues to have on the trajectory of the conflict, and the way international law and consensus have addressed the key issues of Israeli settlement and annexation policies and Palestinian refugees. Dunsky explores how reports of the conflict routinely take on the contours of American policy and rarely challenge the premises of this "Washington consensus." She also examines the media's responses to allegations of biased coverage and gauges the effect that mainstream news reporting has on public opinion and U.S. foreign policy.

Acknowledgments Introduction 1. The Policy Mirror 2. Reporting the Palestinian Refugee Story 3. Reporting on Israeli Settlements 4. Apex of the Spiral: Reporting the Violent Spring of 2002 5. The War at Home 6. In the Field 7. Toward a New Way of Reporting the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Notes Index

This is an important book; a vital contribution to the scholarship on this issue. The empirical evidence that Dunsky has so diligently provided for her arguments constitutes her book's greatest strength. -- Karim H. Karim, Director, School of Journalism and Communication, Carleton University, Canada Written by a journalist and scholar who has reported from the region, this book is a perceptive, careful, and factual assessment of why the American mainstream media do such an exceedingly poor job of conveying the realities of the conflict between Palestinians and Israelis, instead perpetuating stereotypes and echoing the conceits of policymakers in Washington. -- Rashid Khalidi, Edward W. Said Professor of Arab Studies, Middle East Institute, Columbia University Pens and Swords doesn't just decry systematic distortion but explains why it happens again and again. Marda Dunsky makes use of theory to illuminate rather than obscure, bringing academic rigor to a topic so politicized that many avoid it out of fear. Thanks to Dunsky for this brave and timely book. -- Robert Jensen, University of Texas at Austin

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