August 3rd, 2014
01:39 PM ET

#GazaUnderAttack, #IsraelUnderFire: how social media can change perceptions of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict

In the video above, Benjamin Wallace-Wells, a staff writer for New York magazine, discusses his column "Why Israel Is Losing the American Media War."

"Palestinian civilians under Israeli attack" has been "the single consistent theme of the coverage throughout," he said, "because of social media, because we're able to get a less filtered view of what the conflict looks like from within Gaza, because there are more cameras there now."

He also remarked that "I think that Israel is perfectly happy to lose the media argument, so long as they win the military fight. And I think the imbalance in this whole conflict is that Hamas sees it exactly the other way. They're perfectly happy to lose the military fight, so long as they win the media argument."

    · Related: Red News/Blue News about the Middle East P.R. war

At the end of the segment, host Brian Stelter shared this:

Ben was talking about the images that we do see - but what about the images we don't see? I have seen a lot of questions online from you about why news reports from Gaza rarely, if ever, show Hamas militants firing rockets into Israel.

So are reporters in Gaza under pressure from Hamas? Are they being intimidated into only showing civilians, and not the people Israel calls terrorists?

I asked the executive in charge of international here at CNN, Tony Maddox. And he says no. Quote:

"Our infield reporters have repeatedly said that Hamas militants are rarely to be found on the streets of Gaza. We have had no intimidation from Hamas, and received no threats regarding our reporting. They have so far refused all requests for interviews in Gaza."

Filed under: Reliable Sources
soundoff (3 Responses)
  1. Jeffrey Rimmer

    Jingoistic headline : "Hamas are ninjas. CNN not that effective.- CNN exec admits."

    This will require more scrutiny, obviously. Serious and reasoned scrutiny. Or else CNN reporters will simply be viewed as less-than-enterprising.

    Your comment, Mr. Tony Maddox, CNN exec over CNN Int'l...

    August 4, 2014 at 1:21 pm | Reply
  2. dcborn61

    So why aren't Hamas rocket launches and Hamas fighters shown?

    August 4, 2014 at 10:53 am | Reply
  3. Dr. Arnold Rosenstock

    We've seen images of the Iron Dome Defense System intercepting incoming Hamas rockets ONLY BECAUSE the media has been given access to that hardware. It is hardly expected that Hamas would do the same with respect to their offensive military systems and how they are situated. Nor is reasonable to expect that the locals would serve as sources to the foreign press and make them aware of the location of such installations. Notwithstanding the statement made by your international chief, I hardly expect him to order your correspondents in the field to make an effort to seek out these installations. Hence, the bias in reporting in favor of Hamas.

    August 3, 2014 at 4:53 pm | Reply

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