NY Times vs. Al-Jazeera

January 14, 2008 § Leave a comment

Image of Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert from al-Europea al-Irshaf as published on al-Jazeera.net.

Here’s a quote breakdown from the NY Times’ and Al-Jazeera’s top stories on the Palestinian-Israeli negotiations. Quotations are in order of appearance.

NY Times
Headline: Israeli and Palestinian Negotiators Begin Talks
Leads with two Olmert quotes.
Then to Bush quote.
Then to Israeli foreign minister quote.
Brief quote from Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat.
Israeli spokesperson quote.
Olmert spokesperson quote.
Quote from YESHA council, an organization that represents settlers.
Ends with Olmert spokesperson quote.

Israel/America: Eight.
Palestine: One.

Al-Jazeera
Headline: A Conclusion to the Central Committee and Abbas Partners with Hamas-Axis
Leads with Abbas quote
Two quotes from Hamas spokespersons.
Israeli official quote.
Quote from Labor Party Knesset member.
Likud member quote.
Olmert quote.
Erekat quote.

Israel: Four.
Palestine: Four.

My argument is not that every news article should be judged by the quantity of quotes from indviduals. I would never argue that every article on the US presidential election should have three quotes from Obama and another three from Clinton. The purpose of this breakdown is to demonstrate an interview bias on behalf of the NY Times. While al-Jazeera includes quotes from high-level Israeli officials as well as high-level Palestinian officials, the NY Times lacks any quote from PM Abbas or a Hamas representative. It is also worth mentioning that the NY Times article does not even mention Hamas while the al-Jazeera article explains Hamas’s opposition to the negotiations.

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