2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars
Interesting but methdologically limited, 10 Oct. 2011
I agree with the comments that argue that the authors have an overall sympathy towards the Palestinian narrative of the conflict, and that the book attempts to justify this bias by couching it in allegedly objective research.
The book must be given credit for offering valuable insight into an apparent pro-Israeli bias in the British media (ITV + BBC only). The parameters used to measure such claim are mainly reporters' terminology, reporting structure and the overall narrative of events offered in the British media. Further, the chapter concerned with audience response successfully demonstrates the overall ignorance of lay news consumers with regards to the background and general facts about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
What the book fails to demonstrate is a clear causal link between a supposed pro-Israeli media bias and an overall pro-Israeli stance in the wider British public. To me this constitutes a major limitation of the argument, as in the end readers are never told how come the wider public in most liberal European countries remains favourable towards the Palestinian cause (this includes the British public). The methodology used to investigate public perceptions is mostly qualitative (focus groups, with a carefully selected pool of pro-Israeli comments made by the research participants). It is therefore impossible to generalize from the audience response to the general British public opinion.
In sum, the book offers good insights into British media reporting and, separately, into lay perceptions (i.e. ignorance) of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. However, no truly objective generalization can be made about the impact of British media on the wider British public on the basis of the mostly qualitative research used in the book. This shortcoming is compounded by the authors' subtle tendency to sympathize with the Palestinian cause, and the lack of examples of pro-Palestinian coverage in British television (examples of which abound).