The New York Times reported the shooting of a Palestinian child in the Gaza Strip by Israeli soldiers on Sunday. But nothing in the title or in the opening sentence indicated that the victim was only 10 years old. Including the eight-word-long title, it took the New York Times thirty-three words to finally identify the most important detail: Israel had targeted a child.
Considering the vast implications of the media’s framing of Palestinians, this is far from being a non-story. Considering Israel’s persistent assault on Palestinian children, this was a reckless editorial decision by the New York Times. Details do matter, especially when Israel is on record for killing over 2,000 Palestinian children since 2000, including at least 519 children in Gaza just a few months ago.
Palestinians are typically subjected to a very odd and unbending pattern when it comes to national and international news coverage — that is, if coverage exists in the first place. Israel time and time again prevents journalists from entering the Gaza Strip, targets news agency staff and headquarters, and issues indefinite gag orders on particularly gruesome assaults on Palestinians in the West Bank. But when the news does get out, Palestinians are not always given an equal platform. [Read more…]