The Journalism Program at the Doha Institute of Graduate Studies (DI) organised a seminar on “The War on Gaza: Media Coverage and the Conflict of Narratives” recently. A group of researchers from the Doha Institute and Qatar University participated in the seminar which was moderated by Dr. Basim Al-Tuwaisi, Head of the Journalism Program at the DI.
Faculty members, DI students and other participants discussed media coverage of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, the narratives provided by the Israeli media, the Palestinian and Arab media, and the global media. Speakers gave a preliminary reading of the media narratives’ conflict, the media frameworks used to frame the conflict in the current war, the role of social networks in providing an alternative narrative, and the continued attempts to besiege Palestinian narratives on digital platforms.
At the beginning of the seminar, Dr. Basim explained that the media coverage of the current Israeli war on Gaza has gone through stages that began with the Western media’s attempt to kidnap the world public opinion by chanting the Israeli version and adopting the narrative formulated by Israel’s security and political establishment, which simply means manufacturing and directing world public opinion in one direction that is in line with Israeli narrative, and by dehumanizing the Palestinians and framing the Israeli war with self-defense.
Dr. Al-Tuwaisi recalled that historical experiences demonstrate that the dehumanisation of one end of the conflict leads to the legitimisation of genocide as occurred in Ronda and the Balkans, in which case the media becomes a partner in war crimes.
Dr. Nooreldin Meladi, Media Professor at Qatar University, presented the content of a recent book by a British publishing house on Western Media Coverage of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, which he supervised editing with the participation of a group of Arab and Western researchers.
The book dealt with various approaches in covering the Israeli War on Gaza in 2021 and covering the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood case. Meladi explained that the book’s basic findings showed that there were important differences in the presentation of the Palestinian narrative to the international media versus the Israeli narrative, saying: “The Western media clearly supported the Israeli narrative and they embraced it, striking at the ethics and standards of journalism.”
Rania Al-Malki, a professor of practice at the DI, presented her research contribution to the same book, comparing Al Jazeera’s English coverage with the Israeli Channel (i24news) of Sheikh Jarrah events. The researcher referred to the sources relied on by both channels and explained that the results of the study stated that “Al Jazeera English Channe, compared to i24 news, used a wider and more diverse network of sources including Israeli sources to cover the event. While i24 News used only Israeli sources. Even in rare cases when Arab or Palestinian sources were used, it only came to feed its own narrative that fully reflected Israel’s view. “
Dr. Mohammed Hamas Al-Masri, Professor of Media Studies, stressed that most media research indicates that Western media rely more on Israeli sources than Palestinian ones. This excessive reliance on Israeli sources is a major problem, as it shows that the US media is more loyal to Israel than the Israeli media itself. He also addressed models of popular talk shows and analyzed the nature of their sources such as the British broadcaster “Piers Morgan.”
The seminar, which was held at the Institute’s headquarters, was followed by discussions and interventions involving a number of the DI professors and students.
Source : Gulf Times