Friday, July 28, 2006

The Media Dealing with the War in Lebanon

When there is a war, the media step in for coverage. But there are media that are ideologically oriented so they try to edit the events in accordance with their line by using forceful terms to win the hearts and minds of their audience.

The Arab media feel it is a duty to galvanize the Arabs against Israeli actions in Lebanon. Reporting the events objectively without inserting comments on them in favour of the Lebanese by the reporter himself or by an anti-Israeli speaker , also trying to have an interview with an Israeli official on the matter will be considered as a treason, that is siding with Israel or not being involved enough to denounce Israeli military actions. On the Israeli side, before Oslo Peace Accord, any Israeli journalist carrying an interview with a Palestinian politician could face prosecution.

Now that we have media boom through blogs and satellite channels, every side has a large space to put his case through. As many channels have become commercial, first they try to get the feel of their audience and report to them what they want to hear and see. So subjectivity gets over objectivity.

But there are channels like the BBC which does their best to balance their reports. The fact that the debate on the events in Lebanon has attracted thousands of responses, from pro-Israeli to anti-Israeli attitudes, shows that the BBC has won the trust of all sides. It has its reporters on both sides, Lebanon and Israel. Also in the wording of its reports it avoids words that can be considered as biased like "aggression"
or “martyrs”.

Now it has become the responsibility of the audience to make their opinion without seeking someone to tell them how to think. They should get the real background of the story and come with their own analysis. If they can’t make it public, at least they keep it to themselves as a guideline to know how to think instead of being made to think in an imposed way by sides who try to capitalise on events for their own sake.

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