British media pro-Israel bias has risen amid Gaza war: report

The Centre for Media Monitoring analysed almost 70,000 news articles published between November 2023 and June 2024 [GETTY]

Pro-Israel bias in British media reporting on Israel’s war on Gaza has increased, a study by the Muslim Council of Britain’s Centre for Media Monitoring (CfMM) has found.

The study analysed over half a million pieces of British news coverage published between November 2023 and June 2024 and found that Israel’s perceived rights were referred to seven times more than those of Palestinians.

The organisation released a report in March highlighting key issues surrounding coverage of the war on Gaza, including contextualisation and framing issues. The report covered one month, from 7 October to 7 November.

The CfMM updated some of its findings using the same methodology over the subsequent seven months.

Key findings, provided to The New Arab by the CfMM, found that in the first month, most TV channels “overwhelmingly” promoted “Israel’s right” to defence, overshadowing Palestinian rights by a ratio of 5 to 1.

In the subsequent seven months, the mentions of Israel ‘right to self defence’ has risen by a ratio of 7 to 1, and on online sources have increased from a ratio of 6 to 1 to 7 to 1.

The organisation also found that Israeli perspectives were referenced almost three times more than Palestinian ones and were almost twice as present in online news.

The CfMM examined over 450,000 broadcast clips from 13 news channels, including the BBC, Channel 4, ITV, Sky News, Al Jazeera English, GB News, and TalkTV.

News channels used “Israel’s right”, often followed by “to defend itself”, 2,288 times, in comparison to 324 mentions of Palestinian rights.

CfMM also examined 28 news websites, including the Daily Mail, The Sun, The Independent, The Guardian, The Times and the BBC.

From the 70,000 news articles the analysed, Palestinian rights were mentioned 299 times compared with 2,130 mentions of Israel’s rights.

An analysis carried out by The New Arab in March produced similar findings, identifying 645 instances of emotive words used to describe Israeli victims of Hamas violence, but just 57 for Palestinian victims of Israeli violence.

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