A Comparison of Washington Post and New York Times Coverage of Israeli Shooting…

Wednesday's Example of Media Bias   —   Posted on May 4, 2005

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Directions

-Read the excerpt below from EyeonthePost.org.
-Read "Types of Media Bias" in the right column. Then answer the questions.

On Saturday Israeli troops spotted five Palestinians crawling on their stomachs in a closed military zone at the border between Gaza and Egypt, far from any housing, in an area that has a history of being the site of Palestinian weapons smuggling operations. They then stood up and made a run for the border. Warning shots and calls to stop were ignored. Three of them were shot and killed by Israeli forces. Two survived. As it turned out, they were teenagers. The survivors admitted to Palestinian security personnel that they had been involved in an attempt to smuggle weapons.

…[The Washington Post’s headline of the story reads] Israelis Kill 3 Teenagers In Gaza Strip, Military Says Troops Fired Warning Shots … The Post’s headline says nothing about the shooting having taken place in a buffer zone at the border. The New York Times, on the other hand, places this fact right in the headline: Israeli Troops Kill 3 Teenagers in Buffer Zone at Gaza Border

Studies show that most readers don’t read beyond the headline and introductory paragraphs of news articles. The Post’s introductory paragraph says nothing about the shootings having taken place at the border. It says only that “Three Palestinian teenagers were shot and killed by Israeli soldiers Saturday in the southern Gaza Strip.” The second paragraph also fails to report the location of the incident. So does the third. The New York Times, on the other hand, repeats in the opening paragraph that the shooting happened at the border.

…The Post’s correspondent never gives the report of the Israeli commander who stated he was told by Palestinian security officials … yes Palestinian security officials … that the surviving teenagers admitted to them that they were involved in a weapons smuggling operation. The New York Times and other media outlets report this.

Mr. Anderson doesn’t report that not only were warning shots fired, but the Israeli troops called out to the perpetrators to stop. The New York Times reports this.

…This …[reporting] fails to fully and fairly report all of the known facts, thereby enabling readers to draw their own conclusions.

For the complete story, go to EyeOnThePost.org.

Questions

What two types of bias is the excerpt below an example of?


Scroll down to the bottom of the page for the answers.
























Answer(s)

Bias by omission and spin.