Gaza, the mainstream media, 2009 and 2014

A reader comments:

Remarkably, coverage by the AP, NYT, and Washington Post make it hard to escape the conclusion that the Israelis are remorseless thugs. Does this reflect a shift in mainstream attitudes?

I think the shift has less to do with changing attitudes than with a change in location.

In 2009 during Operation Cast Lead, the Israelis prevented the international media from entering Gaza. The only on-the-ground reports in English were coming from Al Jazeera’s Ayman Mohyeldin and Sherine Tadros. Even though they did an incredible job in reporting the war, the Western media was virtually all camped on the Israeli side of the border.

In 2014, there are now dozens of American and other Western reporters inside Gaza.

As much as many observers are in the habit of maligning the mainstream media for its bias and its subservience to government officials, generally speaking, journalists are inclined to report what they see.

In Gaza what they see is the carnage and destruction wrought by Israel. What else can they report?

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