Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Arabs See US Press as Supporting Bush Administration

The Daily Star (Lebanon) discusses a study of US newspapers by Dr. Ghazi Falah of the University of Akron, who focuses on the way Arabs and Muslims are portrayed by the American news media. Dr. Falah makes some astute observations, but draws some questionable conclusions.
With the vast majority of stories and photographs appearing in Western media from the Arab world pertaining to, or insinuating an environment of violence and conflict, readers are left with these impressions of the region.
This is true of US media, but it's not an attempt to portray Arabs negatively. First, blood sells. It's in the nature of journalism to hype the drama, not to describe peaceful, everyday events. Second, the American mainstream media have made a point of deliberately emphasizing negatives, particularly in Iraq, hoping to politically benefit their preferred party, the Democrats. The resultant biased view of Arabs is just collateral damage.
"It is striking how much the editorial policies of the foreign [American] newspapers consulted for this study overlap with U.S. government positions and its geo-political interests in the Middle East."
I'm not sure what other newspapers Dr. Falah was studying, but I would ask him this question: if these newspapers are so supportive of the Bush administration, why has there been an embargo on images of the 9/11 attacks? And why does MSM coverage of Iraq focus only on Coalition deaths, while ignoring our soldiers' daily successes?