Media Coverage of the war on Gaza

Propaganda, public opinion and foreign policy

Date : 20th June 2009
Venue : Khalili Lecture Theatre, School of Oriental & African Studies (SOAS),
University of London, Thornhaugh Street, London WC1H 0XG
(Nearest Tube Station : Russell Square & Tottenham Court Road)


This conference gathers academics, journalists, researchers, policy makers and civil society groups to discuss the coverage of the war on Gaza by various international news media organisations and its implications on public opinion and foreign policy.
Covering the Arab-Israeli conflict remains one of the hot issues on the international level. The issue has generated more attention as well as complaints about media coverage than conflicts in other parts of the world. The region has one of the highest concentrations of journalists in the world, reflecting the intense worldwide interest in the conflict.

There are over 350 foreign news organizations based in Jerusalem alone, employing some 800 reporters, cameramen and technicians. But how have they been covering the on-going war on Palestinians ? The Israeli government have placed a tight control on information coming out of Gaza. Their propaganda machine has been pumping one-sided version to news gatherers about the human catastrophe inflicted on the Palestinians.
In a further attempt to censor journalists who managed to be in the area before the invasion, the Israeli army bombarded the media centre which hosts various news organizations Gaza. Hence this conference aims to unpack the media management of this war by
the different players. It looks at the stance Western media have taken in covering the conflict as compared to the Arab media ? Have broadcasters and the press learnt the lessons from the Iraq conflict ? What alternative the internet has been providing with regard to this war ? What alternative news come from the Palestinian resistance groups in Palestine and beyond about what is happening on the ground ? How much does the media coverage resonate into public opinion formation and, hence help influence policymakers’
actions and decisions ? What should be the role of the media vis-à-vis the conflict ? And what could be the future prospects of the current situation in light of the global media and communication developments ?

Conference themes :
– History of the conflict : Palestine the land and the people before and after the British Mandate
– Zionism, Jewish settlements, the emergence of the state of Israel (1948) and the roots of the conflict
– Mediating the conflict : Western media and public opinion
– Arab media and the portrayal of the on-going occupation
– Arab VS Western media : are we watching the same war ?
– Israeli media management, can the international pubic opinion be fooled in the age of the internet ?
– Palestinian and Arab Diaspora and the mediation of the conflict ?
– Blogging, YouTube, social forums, public reported news, what role have such platforms been playing ?
– Resistance/Citizen journalism and the mediation of the Palestinian narrative
– Media coverage and policy making in the West : What implications ?
– Strategies and future prospects for the region

Call for submissions :
We encourage scholars, researchers, journalists and civil society groups from across the world and with different disciplinary backgrounds to
participate in this timely and unique conference. Abstracts of no more than 500 words should be submitted by the 15 March 2009. Papers should reflect one or more of the conference themes mentioned above. Particularly welcome are papers based on empirical work and a clear research method(s). Deadline for full papers is 15th May 2009.
Please send all submissions and enquiries to Khalil Agha (Conference
Coordinator) on : e-mail : ; Tel : +44 (0) 78998 78485