After watching hours upon hours of news coverage of the recent escalation of Israel against the people of Palestine, I am stunned by the bias in the coverage.
Why are reporters at mainstream television news outlets like CNN simply parroting the talking points of the Israeli government, and not raising critical questions that might help bring clarity to the cause, context, and potential for change in this moment?
These journalists are good people, caught between the mandate for objectivity, and a media environment created by over a decade of right-wing intervention that makes reporting the facts appear like bias. In support of Israel, thousands rally to pressure outlets to present their version of the facts. Very few rally to the cause of the Palestinian people as presented in the news. It seems that in the case of this conflict, news outlets, particularly television, are responding to that pressure with unconscious and deliberate bias.
This lack of deep questioning might be one of the reasons a recent CNN poll revealed that 3 in 4 Americans support Israel in this war. No matter what position you hold on this conflict between Israel and Palestine- journalism should be a vehicle to help everyday people understand the cause and implications of war, and what can be done about it. Anything less, is insufficient.
First, here is an excellent primer on covering this war on Gaza.
Gathered from a diverse set of community leaders working on issues ranging from workers rights to international peace and security, here are some of the questions they thought should be asked. I invite you reader, to tweet these questions at CNN at 2:30pm PST.
Questions for @CNN: Tweet at 2:30 PST, 5:30 ET
What constitutes a legitimate target for Israel?
Given the precision weaponry available to Israel, why are 100% of their targets in civilian areas?
What is considered an acceptable loss of life? How do you justify the more than 150 dead in Gaza against the 5 killed in Israel?
Are you aware that more than half of those killed are children, women, and senior citizens?
Is killing 10 civilians worth killing one high priority target?
Prior to the start of rocket launches by Hamas, Israel killed several Palestinian leaders, which some say is the reason for the rockets.
How do you explain the use of Israel’s full military might against a nation with no formal army, navy or air force?
How do you respond to accusations that this is genocide, and not war?
Do you support a two-state solution? Is complete Palestinian surrender a pre-condition for lasting peace?
Does a two-state solution mean separate but equal, or are you seeking an apartheid state like South Africa had?
What’s your response to the suggestion that Palestinians believe they have a right to defend themselves against Israeli attacks and the long-term occupation of Palestine by Israel?