Monday, August 14, 2006

Lebanon: Western Media Bias

A Ynet report points to many instances of bias by some sections of the Western media in the reporting of the Israel-Lebanon conflict, including the sidelining of the rocket onslaught on Haifa, the ignoring of dissenting voices in Lebanon, and the refusal of many Western news agencies to characterize Hizballah leaflets as propaganda, while at the same time using the term "propaganda" to describe the Israeli leaflets dropped on Beirut and other Lebanese population centres ahead of air raids on Hizballah positions. Particularly at fault are CNN and the BBC, the report says.

As a tentative ceasefire appeared to take hold, CNN reported on the "thousands of refugees (who) poured back into southern Lebanon, trying to return home." There was, however, no coverage given in the report to the thousands of displaced Israelis in central and southern Israel, who are waiting to go back to their own homes in northern Israel, some of which have been destroyed.

The BBC website, following a previous trend , dedicated just one image, out of a succession of eight photographs to the experiences of Israeli civilians in the north.

The other photographs in the series focused on the IDF fighting in Lebanon, and Lebanese civilians caught up in the war. There were no images of Hizbullah members engaged in fighting.

"Air strikes were launched against targets in various parts of Lebanon, causing several deaths and injuries," a caption read under an image of an injured Lebanese child.

The selection of images and accompanying captions strongly suggested that the BBC believes Hizbullah was "responding" to Israeli actions: "Hizbullah responded with more rockets fired at northern Israel, forcing people to seek safety in shelters," the British media outlet said.

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