MDC organized a seminar on “Media Coverage of the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict”



Birzeit University, 17th of Dec: Media Development Center (MDC) at Birzeit University held a seminar on “Media Coverage of the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict”, in the presence of local and foreign journalists, as well as experts and media professors.
At the beginning of the seminar, the monitoring and evaluation coordinator at the Media Development Center at MDC, Imad Al-Asfar, presented the most prominent aspects of bias in foreign media coverage and weaknesses in local media coverage.
A TV report prepared by the project Coordinator of "Media Development Indicators" at MDC, Abeer Ismail, focused on the differences in the media coverage of both local and foreign media.
The first session was chaired by the director of MDC, Nibal Thawabteh. Lecturer on the new media, Mariam Aouragh, provided a review of the book "Bad News from Israel" of Greg Philo and Mike Berry, and concluded that journalists are opinion-makers, not just carriers of the event or for information only. Form his side, the bureau chief of Washington Post newspaper, Joel Greenberg said that foreign journalists are not biased, they are just trying to cover the event from both sides.
“But they fail sometimes which, expose them to criticism” Greenberg added, “there’s sometimes media coverage which doesn’t show the conflict in its true form”.
On the other hand, the corresponded of Al-Arabiya Channel, Ziad Halabi, said that there is a lack of professionalism despite the significant improvement of the Arab media, especially in the field ??coverage of the Gaza war.
Halabi called on the journalists to adopt standards and terms of international law in their coverage of the conflict.

The second session, which was chaired by the media professor at Birzeit Univerisy, Ehab Bessaiso, discussed the variation in terminology, for example the wall or security fence or separation barrier.
From his side, the Palestinian writer and analyst, Nazir Mojali, made a review of the term of “Jewish State, which had been stated by the UN resolution No. 181 on which Palestinians based the Declaration of Independence.
Mojali called for more commitment to professionalism and ensured that professionalism does not contradict nationalism.
On the other side, the Bureau Chief of Reuters, Crispian Balmer, stressed the need for accuracy in the selection of terminology which is subjected to check and review by editors.
The Palestinian journalist, Khalid Amayerh said that the foreign media always biases for the Israeli story and doesn’t deal with the required professionalism. Amayreh stressed at the same that its time to monitor and review the foreign media.
The last session which was based on recommendations, the Secretary General of the Palestinian National Initiative, Dr.Mustafa Al- Barghouthi, said that the Palestinian politicians should pay attention to the international news agencies, and to focus on the terms as occupation and apartheid.
Dr.Barghouthi added: “It is difficult for foreign journalist to be objective as long as they live in the center of the Israeli society.”  He called to subdue politicians and spokespeople to intensive training on how to deal with the media.
Finally, the Palestinian Lawyer, Dr. Diana Butto, spoke at the end of the seminar; politicians and journalists should understand terms and its explanations in a better way before they start using it. She continued; “the audience needs to understand the meaning of terms which are used in every news story in the media”


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