Israelis and Palestinians have been fighting for about century over land. The battles – involving many other issues than just land, have been fought with tanks, rockets, aircraft, fists, stones, sticks, you name it. However, nowadays battles do not happen only on clearly delineated fronts. The battles of the 21st century are fought on editorial pages, TV screens and especially on the Internet. Satellites and cameras made transmission of text and visual context almost instantaneous so wherever we live in the world we stay “informed”. But is everything as “real” as it seems?This globalization and unification of communication have had a big impact on war turning it into a global spectacle, especially for those not directly involved in it. Basically, if you can dominate world media and influence people’s opinions, you can defeat your enemy on this second “virtual” front by letting global levers like trade sanctions, decreased tourism etc. constrain him.
That is a good reason why media often reduce highly complex conflicts such as the Israeli/ Gaza one. Sweeping instances of media distortion – when big media report important war conflicts wrong – fascinate me. That’s why I decided to write my dissertation on this particular topic, using the Israeli/Gaza conflict as a case study.
Words, words, words – “power of media is all about words and the use of words. It is bout semantics” Robert Fisk.
At the Independent Literary Festival in Woodstock 2010 I had the pleasure to hear Robert Fisk, the best journalist reporting on the Middle – East, speaking about the misuse of words by journalists.
“It is about the employment of phrases and clauses and their origins. And it is about the misuse of history; and about our ignorance of history. More and more today, we journalists have become prisoners of the language of power’.