- “The Deal of the Century”: How Global Media Silenced the Palestinians
by Abeer Alnajjar, https://www.opendemocracy.net/en/
News media coverage of the “deal of the century” was deafening in its silence on international law and the Palestinian perspective.
The most recent instance of international news compliance with the Israeli occupation was the coverage of Donald Trump and Benjamin Netanyahu’s latest piece of political theatre, which posed as a “peace plan.” The coverage of the proposed American plan shows how many major, mainstream news media outlets are sensitized against any reference to Palestinian rights or international law, and any criticism of Israel or its policies.
The New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN, the BBC, Reuters, the Associated Press (AP), and others reported the “deal of the century” as a “peace plan,” although many in the international community knew that no peace was expected from the proposed plan. Yet the term “peace plan” appeared in many headlines in major publications including The New York Times, the BBC, the AP, Reuters, and others.
Early reports included both “peace plan” and “deal of the century” in their headlines. In several news reports, journalists failed to consistently use quotation marks or any other mechanism to differentiate these politically loaded terms from the news or contextualize them as political speech. Along with The New York Times, the AP, and others, BBC World did not place quotation marks around “peace plan” but did place them around “deal of the century.”
Sky News was one of the very few outlets to use quotation marks around “peace plan,” a clear indication of good journalistic judgment and defense against political manipulation. This judgment shifted, however, as Sky News stopped using quotation marks with the term a few days later. The change perhaps followed a shift in the channel’s editorial policy as a result of monitoring how other channels phrased the headlines of their stories.