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Title: Palestine : new media, same old political agenda
Authors: Abu Rob, Mohammed
Issue Date: Nov-2014
Publisher: Simonelli Editore, University Press
Abstract: The Palestinian media represent an exceptional case in the Middle East, and the Arab world in particular. Because Palestine is still under Israeli occupation, media tend to focus on macro issues such as politics, the Palestinian-Israeli negotiations, and restrictions that cause suffering to Palestinians in their daily lives. Focusing on major political issues means that other issues, such as housing, food, petrol prices, education, individual freedom, and social and family violence, are less frequently covered. This study investigates whether there are significant differences in the central issues addressed by daily newspapers and online news sites. Specifically, content was analyzed in Al-Quds, a widely distributed newspaper in the West Bank, Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip, and the Ma’an news website. It is important to mention here that Israeli policies, including control of the crossing areas, prevent the regular passage of daily newspapers between Gaza and the West Bank. This study addresses a number of questions, including: • To what extent do media coverage priorities differ between traditional and online media in Palestine? • What kinds of issues are both covering? • How do the topics, frames, and sources differ between Al-Quds and the Ma’an news website? The content analysis covers the period when the Palestinian Authority attempted to earn recognition for Palestine as a state in the United Nations (September 15 to October 15, 2011) and there was wide media mobilization of public opinion. The analysis examined the variables of topic, frame, language, and source, which reflect the priorities of coverage. The study also includes interviews with the editors of Al-Quds and Ma’an.
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