Preoccupation with Israel in the British media: Reporting of Israel, Egypt, Libya and Tunisia prior to the Arab

Spring

May 2011 By Carmel Gould Research assistance from Jon Dranko and Chris Dyszyn ´ski

Contents Introduction Executive Summary Part I: Quantitative analysis of Middle East reporting in 2010
1. BBC News website 2. The Guardian 3. The Independent 4. The Daily Telegraph 5. The Times 6. Financial Times 3 4 5 5 6 9 13 16 19 22 22 22 24 25

Part II: Key implications of findings and recommendations for the future
1. Universal over-concentration on Israel 2. Chronic under-reporting of Arab countries 3. Recommendations

Methodology

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Introduction
The first five months of 2011 have seen more reporting from the Arab world than at any time in recent years. Correspondents normally based elsewhere and preoccupied with other issues have flocked to Egypt, Tunisia, Libya and the Gulf, to bear witness to the dramatic events unfolding there. Reports have flooded the print, broadcast and online media, providing western audiences with a rare insight into the domestic affairs – religious, political and economic - of the Arab world, topics which have long-evaded the mainstream English language media unless directly linked to news pertaining to Israel. Since this sea-change in journalistic interest, reporting from Israel has to some extent taken a backseat. Notably, the terms ‘war crimes’, ‘humanitarian law’ and ‘massacre’ are daily being applied to the places to which they have arguably been much more relevant even prior to developments in 2011. Whereas previously, stories relating to Israel and the Palestinian territories dominated ‘Middle East’ news, now, far greater attention is being paid to what is going on elsewhere in the region. This report quantifies the extent to which British media over–concentration on Israel contrasted with meagre coverage of the Arab world in 2010, the twelve months preceding the political earthquake in the region. It examines coverage from the five broadsheet newspapers – The Guardian, The Independent, The Daily Telegraph, The Times, Financial Times – and the BBC News website. Four countries are the focus of the study: Israel, Egypt, Libya and Tunisia. The selection of these three Arab countries was based on their major roles in the Arab Spring and their subsequent attraction of a substantial amount of media attention in 2011. A number of specific Arab-related stories were measured in order to reveal patterns of under-reporting and surprising focus. These included the December 2010 Egyptian presidential elections, the Sharm el Sheikh shark attacks of the same month and Lockerbie-related coverage of Libya. For a detailed explanation of the report’s methodology, please refer to the Methodology section.

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Executive Summary
Israel was by far the most reported of the four Middle East countries studied in all five broadsheets and the BBC News website in the year prior to the Arab Spring At the BBC News website news coverage of the Arab countries combined and doubled still amounted to less than was written about Israel Three out of four permanent BBC correspondents in the region demonstrated an overwhelming focus on Israel, with 82 per cent of overall correspondence coverage of the four countries devoted to Israel BBC Middle East editor Jeremy Bowen devoted 95 per cent of his coverage of the four countries to Israel Israel was the most cited across News, Comment and Editorial categories in every news outlet Across all broadsheets, total News pieces on Egypt, Libya and Tunisia combined amounted to less than total News pieces on Israel At The Guardian and The Daily Telegraph news coverage of the Arab countries combined and tripled still amounted to less than was written about Israel Across all broadsheets, total Comment pieces on Egypt, Libya and Tunisia combined amounted to less than total Comment pieces on Israel Across all broadsheets, total Editorials on Egypt, Libya and Tunisia combined amounted to less than total Editorials on Israel Egypt was the second most reported country at all publications except for The Daily Telegraph, where Libya was the second most reported of the four countries Tunisia was the least reported of the four Middle East countries in the year prior to the Arab Spring

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Part I: Quantitative analysis of Middle East reporting in 2010 BBC News website
Research into Middle East coverage on the BBC News website in 2010 focused on output by the corporation’s four permanent correspondents and its Middle East editor. However, country name word searches on news.bbc.co.uk were also carried out to quantify overall news coverage of Israel, Egypt, Libya and Tunisia. Key findings Results for BBC online news coverage of Israel, Egypt, Libya and Tunisia show a massive concentration on Israel, with News pieces relevant to Israel numbering more than double those relevant to the three Arab countries combined 1140 News pieces appeared about Israel, compared with 377 about Egypt, the next most reported Middle East country Ninety-five per cent of Middle East News pieces about the four countries produced by Middle East editor Jeremy Bowen focused on Israel Three out of four permanent correspondents in the region demonstrated an overwhelming focus on Israel Eighty-two per cent of News pieces from the permanent correspondents about the four countries was about Israel Figure 1 illustrates the stark focus on Israel in the BBC’s Middle East coverage, with volume of coverage of Israel far outstripping that of its Arab counterparts. Figure 1

In 2010 the BBC had four correspondents based in the Middle East: Wyre Davies (Jerusalem), Rupert WingfieldHayes (Jerusalem), Jon Donnison (Gaza and Ramallah) and Jon Leyne (Cairo). Given the concentration of correspondents based in Israel and the Palestinian territories, the heavy focus on Israel is relatively unsurprising.

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Figure 2 demonstrates Middle East correspondents’ focus on Israel in comparison with Egypt, Libya and Tunisia. Figure 2

Crucially, Middle East editor Jeremy Bowen, who oversees the BBC’s Middle East news coverage, produced 41 News pieces on Israel, two on Egypt and none on Libya and Tunisia in 2010. The three correspondents based in Israel and the Palestinian territories produced or contributed to News pieces overwhelmingly focused on IsraelPalestine. Only Jon Leyne, based in Cairo, focused most heavily on another area – in this case, Egypt.

The Guardian
In measuring the number of Content pieces about Israel, Egypt, Libya and Tunisia published on guardian.co.uk in 2010, Just Journalism deferred to the website’s own tag system, which labels each piece of coverage as ‘about’ a certain issue or part of the world. The Guardian has country tags for each of the four countries concerned, therefore content relating to them is clearly labelled and listed on the website. Key findings Israel was by far the most reported of the four countries in The Guardian in 2010. In fact, coverage of Egypt, Libya and Tunisia combined and doubled still fell far short of the total coverage of Israel News reporting about Israel was nearly six times the volume of the next most reported Arab country, Egypt Comment pieces on Egypt, Libya and Tunisia combined to less than half those published about Israel Sixteen editorials were published on Israel, whereas none were published on Egypt, Libya or Tunisia

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Figure 3 illustrates the disparity between volume of coverage of Israel that of the three Arab countries. Figure 3

Figure 4 shows how News pieces on Israel vastly outnumbered those on Egypt, Libya and Tunisia. Figure 4

What distinguishes The Guardian’s journalism on Israel from that on the Arab countries is the presence of a permanent reporter in Jerusalem, who produces highly regular content for the print and online editions. In the first five months of 2010, then-Jerusalem correspondent Rory McCarthy filed 70 news reports on Israel, equivalent to almost one report every other day. When Harriet Sherwood replaced him, she filed 139 reports in the remaining seven months of the year, an increase of more than 40 per cent. No comparable set up was in place in Egypt, Libya or Tunisia, as only Israel has a devoted correspondent to file stories on a near-daily basis.

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Two hundred and fourteen Content pieces were published on Egypt, ten of which were triggered by December’s shark attacks in the Red Sea resort, Sharm el Sheikh. Only four more pieces addressed the rigged Egyptian presidential elections, also in December, which extended the reign of the recently ousted Hosni Mubarak. Coverage of Libya, about which 110 Content pieces appeared in 2010, was dominated by the release from UK prison in 2009 of convicted Lockerbie bomber Abdel Baset al Megrahi, with 48 articles on this story. Tunisia was barely covered by The Guardian in 2010, with only 22 Content pieces about the country. These trends were reflected in coverage by Middle East editor Ian Black, who covered Israel in 87 Content pieces, compared with only 12 on Libya, nine on Egypt and three on Tunisia. The number of Comment pieces published on The Guardian’s ‘Comment is free’ website follows the pattern of concentration on Israel, with articles on Israel far outstripping the number published about Egypt, Libya and Tunisia. Figure 5 illustrates the gulf between volume of Comment pieces on Israel and that on the three Arab countries. Figure 5

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Figure 6 shows how, in 2010, The Guardian published 16 Editorials on Israel and none on Egypt, Tunisia or Libya. Figure 6

The Independent
In measuring coverage of Israel, Egypt, Libya and Tunisia in The Independent in 2010, Google word searches confined to independent.co.uk were used due to the lack of availability of content covering the whole of 2010 via the publication’s website search function. Only items categorised by The Independent as News and Opinion were included in the study. Key findings The Independent’s coverage concentrated heavily on Israel, with Content pieces citing Egypt, Libya and Tunisia combined only representing 52 per cent of the number of Content pieces citing Israel Volume of News pieces citing Israel was more than three times that of the next most reported country, Egypt Comment pieces citing Israel numbered 145 compared with a combined total of 55 for the three Arab countries Eight Editorials cited Israel, compared with two mentioning Egypt and one citing Libya

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Figure 7 illustrates the disparity between volume of overall coverage of Israel and that of the three Arab countries. Figure 7

Figure 8 highlights how citations of Israel in News pieces amounted to more than three times those of the next most reported country, Egypt. Figure 8

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As with The Guardian, the allocation of permanent correspondents in Jerusalem was key in maintaining the disproportionate focus on events in Israel. In 2010 one hundred and thirty-six News pieces were produced by correspondents Donald Macintyre and Catrina Stewart, the vast majority of which focused on events in Israel and the Palestinian territories. The Independent’s remaining Middle East correspondent, Robert Fisk, who is based in Beirut, produced eight News pieces citing Israel, three citing Egypt, one mentioning Tunisia, and none on Libya. Unusually, for a regional correspondent, Fisk produced more comment than news. He published more Comment pieces citing Israel than any of the other three countries despite his not being based there, with reference to Israel in 59 articles, against 24 references to Egypt. Thirty per cent of Content pieces on Libya in The Independent were related to the 2009 release of Abdel Baset al Megrahi, with 28 articles on the story. In Egypt coverage, the Sharm el Sheikh shark attacks in December garnered citations in six Content pieces, only one less than the December presidential elections. Figure 9 shows the same pattern in The Independent’s comment output, with citations of Israel far exceeding those of its Arab counterparts. Figure 9

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Figure 10 shows that the official views of The Independent via Editorials also favoured a strong focus on Israel, with more than twice the number of Editorials citing Israel than all three Arab countries combined. Figure 10

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The Daily Telegraph
In measuring the number of Content pieces about Israel, Egypt, Libya and Tunisia published on telegraph.co.uk in 2010, Just Journalism deferred to the website’s own tailored country pages. As such we relied upon the publication’s own classification of Content pieces ‘about’ each of the four countries. Key findings The Daily Telegraph’s coverage of Israel constituted nearly six times the amount about the next most reported Middle East country, Libya The number of News pieces appearing on Israel was greater than that appearing on the three Arab countries combined and tripled Volume of Middle East Comment pieces in The Daily Telegraph was generally low but those on Israel outstripped those on Libya by a factor of four Seventeen Editorials appeared on Israel, compared with two on Libya, one on Egypt and none on Tunisia The Daily Telegraph focused its Middle East reporting on Israel, differing from other publications only in its second place focus going to Libya rather than Egypt. This was owing to the high profile given to the 2009 release of Abdel Baset al Megrahi, which accounted for 50 per cent of Libya coverage in 2010. Figure 11 demonstrates how the vast majority of Middle East coverage was about Israel. Content pieces on Egypt, Libya and Tunisia, when combined and tripled, still fell short of the number on Israel. Figure 11

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Figure 12 illustrates a massive focus on Israel in news coverage, compared with the three Arab countries. Figure 12

The Daily Telegraph devoted two permanent correspondents to the Middle East in 2010 – one in Israel and another in Dubai. Mark Weiss and, later, Adrian Blomfield produced a total of 171 News pieces on Israel. The publication’s second Middle East correspondent, Richard Spencer, who was based in Dubai, produced far more articles on Israel (43) than on any of the other three Arab countries, with five on Egypt, ten on Libya and one on Tunisia. Of the 88 Content pieces produced about Egypt, twenty-four were about the shark attacks in the Red Sea in December, against a mere four covering the December presidential elections.

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Figure 13 shows a similar proclivity at The Daily Telegraph for Middle East comment to focus on Israel, with 20 Comment pieces on Israel and five on Libya. Figure 13

Figure 14 illustrates the dominance of Israel-focused Middle East Editorials, with 17 on Israel and only two and one on Libya and Egypt, respectively. Figure 14

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The Times
In measuring coverage of Israel, Egypt, Libya and Tunisia published in The Times in 2010, country name word searches were conducted on timesonline.co.uk. The results were filtered to focus on the most relevant coverage (see Methodology). Key findings Content pieces citing Israel outnumbered the next most cited of the four Middle East countries, Egypt, by more than a factor of three Israel was cited in News pieces more than three times as often as the next most reported Middle East country, Egypt Total Comment pieces citing Israel exceeded those citing Egypt, Libya and Tunisia, even when combined and doubled Editorials citing Israel were nearly five times the number of those citing the next most reported Middle East country, Egypt Figure 15 illustrates how Israel heavily dominated Middle East coverage at The Times, when compared with coverage of Egypt, Libya and Tunisia. Figure 15

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Figure 16 identifies the huge gulf in the volume of news coverage on Israel compared with the Arab countries. Figure 16

The Times has two permanent correspondents based in Jerusalem and one in Dubai. James Hider and Sheera Frenkel, between them, produced 192 of the 430 News pieces relating to Israel (45%), the equivalent of one piece per two days over the course of 2010. They also produced 52 News pieces citing Egypt, more than a third of the total news output citing Egypt. Gulf correspondent Hugh Tomlinson also produced 24 News pieces citing Israel, compared with two citing Egypt and none mentioning Libya or Tunisia. The 2009 release of the Lockerbie bomber dominated The Times’ Libya coverage in 2010, with 51 per cent of all Libyarelated articles referencing the story. Of the 150 Content pieces citing Egypt, nine articles referred to the Sharm el Sheikh shark attacks, and a mere 10 articles included mention of the December 2010 presidential elections.

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Figures 17 and 18 demonstrate the clear predilection for comment and editorial articles which relate to Israel. Figure 17

Figure 18

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Financial Times
In measuring coverage of Israel, Egypt, Libya and Tunisia published in the Financial Times in 2010, country name word searches were conducted on ft.com/uk. All results containing the relevant terms were included in the study, except for letters to the editor. Key findings Over-concentration on Israel was a major feature of the Financial Times’ Middle East coverage, with 55 per cent of references to the four countries in Content pieces, made to Israel News pieces citing Israel exceeded those referencing Egypt, Libya and Tunisia combined Comment pieces citing Israel were double the number of those citing the next most mentioned country, Egypt Israel-related Editorials clearly outstripped those referencing the three Arab countries, with such articles citing Israel almost three times as often as the next most cited country, Egypt Figure 19 illustrates how Israel was by far the leading Middle East country reported by the Financial Times out of the four countries included in the study. Figure 19

The same pattern of concentration on Israel is revealed, when the results are broken down into News, Comment and Editorial.

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Figure 20 illustrates how Israel led the Middle East news agenda, with references to the country in News pieces far exceeding those made to Egypt, Libya and Tunisia. Figure 20

Jerusalem correspondent Tobias Buck produced highly regular content focused on Israel throughout 2010, with 271 Content pieces across the year. More so than any other broadsheet, the Financial Times provided regular reporting from Egypt, with Heba Saleh, based in Cairo, delivering 77 Content pieces citing Egypt, including 17 on the December elections. Unlike other reporters, Saleh did not produce anything on the shark attacks of the same month. Lockerbie-related coverage in the Financial Times made up less of general Libya coverage, constituting only 27 Content pieces out of a total of one hundred and fifty five. Middle East editor Roula Khalaf produced 41 Content pieces citing Israel, seventeen citing Egypt, four citing Libya and none referencing Tunisia.

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Figure 21 illustrates the dominance of Israel-related Comment pieces published in the Financial Times in 2010, with double the number than those about Egypt. Figure 21

Figure 22 shows how nearly three times the number of Editorials in the Financial Times cited Israel than Egypt. Figure 22

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Part II: Key implications of findings and recommendations for the future 1. Universal over-concentration on Israel
The key finding from this study is that disproportionate focus on Israel was uniform across the mainstream British media, regardless of outlets’ political orientation and stance on Israel. As such, right of centre publications, with editorial lines generally supportive of Israel, like The Times, were no different from left of centre publications extremely critical of Israel, like The Independent, in their devotion of far more column inches to Israel relative to other Middle East countries. One crucial factor in the high volume reporting of Israel as opposed to the low volume reporting of Egypt, Libya and Tunisia, is the allocation of permanent reporters to the former and rarely the latter. Only Israel hosts permanent correspondents from all five broadsheets and the BBC. The practical consequence of this policy is a massive concentration of content analysing the situation in Israel and the Palestinian territories and very little to virtually nothing analysing other countries in the region. The overconcentration on Israel manifested itself not only in day-to-day news reporting by Jerusalem correspondents, but in the volume of comment articles and editorials issuing endless condemnations and censure against what seems like every move the state makes in relation to the Palestinians. Since the mass migration of journalists to Tunis, Tahrir Square and beyond, media consumers have been exposed to content which touches on the varying levels of rank injustice and human rights violations suffered by citizens across the Arab world which are entirely unrelated to Israel and its conflict with the Palestinians. These conditions have been regularly documented by international agencies in reports about denial of freedom of speech and the right to assemble, enforced disappearances of dissenters, torture by the state and abuse of minorities and women. However, they have rarely been reported by journalists, many of whom produce dozens of articles a year about how Israeli settlement building breaches international law and denies Palestinians their human rights.

2. Chronic under-reporting of Arab countries
This sustained focus on Israel stands in stark contrast to the hitherto lack of interest in events in the wider Middle East. Tunisia, which hosted the first major uprising of the Arab Spring, was hugely under-reported by any standard in the 12 months prior to its revolution. The country was not cited in a single broadsheet editorial in 2010 and was the least represented in news-reporting across the six media outlets studied. When in January 2011 the country went into full scale convulsions and overthrew its dictator, the British media essentially discovered that 10 million Tunisians had been living in poor conditions in a police state where human rights were the exception rather than the rule. The Guardian’s editorial of 17 January gave the misleading impression that the publication had been on top of the issue all along, citing ‘a brutal dictator and his venal family’, a ‘police state’ and ‘torture and human rights violations’. In the midst of the likely thousands of articles which have been written about the Tunisia, Egypt and Libya popular uprisings in 2011, a handful have reflected specifically on the prior lack of media attention paid to life in the Arab world, as well as the contrasting preoccupation with Israel.

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Simon Kuper at the Financial Times, in an article on 25 February, mused, ‘On the airwaves, everyone is telling us what is happening across the Arab world. The truth (if only anyone would admit it) is that we cannot possibly know.’ While the thrust of this piece was to question just how popular the Arab uprisings were, he also cited a lack of journalistic interest: ‘Our most basic problem is dumb ignorance. The poorer Arab countries haven’t been “news” for decades. The few foreign correspondents who remained (such as those flown in to cover Tahrir Square) rarely spoke much Arabic and mostly stuck to expat ghettoes.’ Jonathan Freedland of The Guardian addressed the general disparity between attention paid to Israel and that paid the rest of the Middle East on 6 April: ‘Many respectable folks have spent decades insisting that the “core issue” in the Middle East, if not the world, is the Israel-Palestine conflict – that it is the “running sore” whose eventual healing will heal the wider region and beyond. ‘That was always gold-plated nonsense, but now the Arab spring has come along to prove it. Now the world can see that the peoples of Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, Yemen, Syria and Bahrain have troubles aplenty that have nothing to do with Israel.’ He includes ‘the media sphere’ in this tendency to aim focus in one specific direction in the Middle East. Nick Cohen, writing for The Observer on 27 February, produced, ‘Our absurd obsession with Israel is laid bare’ which carried the standfirst, ‘The Middle East meant only Israel to many. Now the lives of millions of Arabs have been brought to Europe’s attention’. In the article, he listed ‘the stories that the Middle Eastern bureau chiefs missed until revolutions that had nothing to do with Palestine forced them to take notice.’ These included how Libyan leader Colonel Gaddafi ‘hired mercenaries and paramilitary “special forces” he could count on to slaughter the civilian population when required.’ Some newspapers, whilst reorganising themselves somewhat to report the large-scale developments in the Arab world, have nonetheless clarified in their editorial pronouncements that they still regard Israel as the most important news emanating from the Middle East. The Guardian in particular has sought to re-position Israel into the limelight. For example, on 21 February, at a pivotal moment of deepening crisis in Libya, readers’ attention was redirected to, ‘the cockpit of the crisis, Palestine.’ On 29 April, following the Fatah-Hamas reconciliation deal, The Guardian once more took the opportunity to identify the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as ‘the core issue of the region’.

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3. Recommendations
While the causes of the Arab uprisings are undoubtedly complex and manifold, one thing is clear: the hundreds of thousands of Arabs out protesting on the streets were demanding fundamental change in their systems of governance and their rights as citizens. They were not uniting under the banner of freedom for the Palestinians. The Arab Spring provides media outlets with the perfect opportunity to re-assess their Middle East policies, including the allocation of human resources throughout the region, as well as the proportion of content devoted to the various locations and issues. On account of the stark findings of this report, Just Journalism proposes that each of the media outlets studied conduct an internal review of its policies on Middle East reporting, addressing the following: Going forward, how should journalistic focus be distributed in the Middle East, particularly in light of the Arab Spring? Should Israel continue to be the subject of the lion’s share of journalistic scrutiny or are there other newsworthy stories to be reported elsewhere in the Middle East? Is it necessary to have such a high proportion of British correspondents living full time in Israel rather than elsewhere in the Middle East in view of the disproportionate focus on Israel this produces, to the detriment of journalism on the rest of the region? What practical steps can be taken to ensure the development of a broader, more encompassing approach to reporting a region which includes not only Israel but 21 Arab countries?

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Methodology
Quantifying online coverage is a complex task, particularly given the fluid nature of online categorisation and the wide variation in sophistication of the respective websites. Every effort has been made to tailor our methodology in a way which facilitates transparency and results in outcomes which are a true reflection of the content published by each media outlet. Due to the high volume of articles processed for this study (in excess of 6,000) a very small degree of human error may be relevant in the collation of these results. However, this margin of error is likely to be statistically insignificant, in view of the numerically decisive results displayed across the news outlets studied. In order to quantify coverage of Israel, Egypt, Libya and Tunisia in 2010, where possible the internal categorisation determined by the news outlet in question was adopted. Where news websites did not offer in-house archiving of the relevant material, we applied word searches on the publications’ websites. In the case of The Independent a Google search was used. Returns from country word searches were filtered in a straightforward way, explained in this section. The websites of The Guardian and The Daily Telegraph categorise and archive coverage pertaining to individual countries on tailored country pages, and as such, these formed the basis for the research into Middle East coverage by these two publications. Whilst the BBC News website does not carry country specific pages, containing all archived material, its search function incorporates relevance into search returns, thus, when a website user searches ‘Israel’ only articles deemed relevant by the BBC will be returned. As such, search returns for each of the four countries were taken to be ‘about’ the country in question and not simply a reference to it. The websites of the Financial Times, The Times and The Independent do not provide users with country specific pages carrying all outputs deemed relevant. For the former two publications, country word searches were conducted on their websites and returns filtered where necessary. The Independent’s website did not supply content going sufficiently far back for this study. As such, a country word search was conducted on Google using the ‘keyword site:website.co.uk’ formula. The results were also filtered where necessary. Throughout the report, ‘News piece’ denotes a news item, most commonly in the form of a news article; ‘Comment piece’ denotes an opinion article by a named writer; ‘Editorial’ refers to an article which represents the official view of a publication; ‘Content piece’ refers to any item regardless of which category it falls under. The following word searches were carried out in order to identify coverage relating to the December 2010 Egyptian presidential elections, the Sharm el Sheikh shark attacks of the same month and Lockerbie-related coverage of Libya: ‘election’, ‘shark’ and ‘Lockerbie’.

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BBC News website
Research into Middle East coverage on the BBC News website in 2010 focused on output by the corporation’s four permanent correspondents and its Middle East editor. However, country name word searches on news.bbc.co.uk were also carried out to quantify overall news coverage of Israel, Egypt, Libya and Tunisia. Points to note: Total news content for each of the four countries was determined by citations in the website’s ‘News’ category (as opposed to ‘All Results’, ‘Blogs’ etc) News coverage by each of the four correspondents and editor was gleaned by conducting name word searches The focus of output by the four correspondents and editor was determined by analysis of BBC story headlines, namely, which countries were referred to in each headline

The Guardian
In measuring the number of Content pieces about Israel, Egypt, Libya and Tunisia published on guardian.co.uk in 2010, Just Journalism deferred to the website’s own tag system, which labels each piece of coverage as ‘about’ a certain issue or part of the world. The Guardian has country tags for each of the four countries concerned, therefore content relating to them is clearly labelled and listed on the website. Points to note: Letters to the editor were excluded from analysis Content produced for The Observer was excluded from analysis Content items which were unauthored photos or videos were excluded from analysis Only content tagged as ‘News’ was categorised as News for the study Only content tagged as ‘Cif’ was categorised as Comment for the study Only content tagged as ‘Editorial’ was categorised as Editorial for the study

The Independent
In measuring coverage of Israel, Egypt, Libya and Tunisia in The Independent in 2010, Google word searches confined to independent.co.uk were used due to the lack of availability of content covering the whole of 2010 via the publication’s website search function. Points to note: Only items categorised by The Independent as News and Opinion were included in the study Letters to the editor and photos were excluded from analysis Because content for The Independent and The Independent on Sunday is not consistently distinguishable on independent.co.uk content for the latter was included in the analysis but not separately analysed

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The Daily Telegraph
In measuring the number of Content pieces about Israel, Egypt, Libya and Tunisia published on telegraph.co.uk in 2010, Just Journalism deferred to the website’s own tailored country pages. As such we relied upon the publication’s own classification of Content pieces ‘about’ each of the four countries. Points to note: Photo galleries and stand-alone videos were excluded from analysis Because content for The Daily Telegraph and The Sunday Telegraph is not consistently distinguishable on telegraph.co.uk content for the latter was included in the analysis but not separately analysed Only content tagged as ‘News’ was categorised as News for the study Only content tagged as ‘Comment’ was categorised as Comment for the study Only content tagged as ‘Comment-Telegraph View’ was categorised as Editorial for the study

The Times
In measuring coverage of Israel, Egypt, Libya and Tunisia published in The Times in 2010, country name word searches were conducted on timesonline.co.uk. Content for news, comment and editorial was included. Points to note: Letters to the editor were excluded from analysis Blogs were excluded from analysis Content produced for The Sunday Times was excluded from the study Given the multiplicity of categories on The Times’ website, research was limited to the following categories: all geographical areas (Middle East, Asia, US & Americas etc.), World News, World Agenda, Politics, Columnists, Names of columnists, Thunderer and Leading Articles Content in the following categories was categorised as News for the study: all geographical areas (Middle East, Asia, US & Americas), World News, World Agenda and Politics Content in the following categories was categorised as Comment for the study: Columnists, Names of columnists and Thunderer Content categorised as Leading Articles was categorised as Editorial for the study

Financial Times
In measuring coverage of Israel, Egypt, Libya and Tunisia published in the Financial Times in 2010 country name word searches were conducted on ft.com/uk. Points to note: Letters to the editor were excluded All content excluding anything categorised by Financial Times as ‘Comment’ or ‘Columnist’ was categorised as News for the study. This was largely in view of the FT’s business focus, which broadens the scope of its news coverage All content categorised as ‘Comment’ or ‘Columnist’ was categorised as Comment for the study All content categorised as ‘Comment-Editorial’ was categorised as Editorial for the study

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www.justjournalism.com contact@justjournalism.com Registered company number: 06345885 Just Journalism is an independent research organisation focused on how Israel and Middle East issues are reported in the UK media. We produce analysis of print, broadcast and online media and regularly publish research on trends in the media’s coverage. © Published by Just Journalism, May 2011 The text of this report may only be reproduced with prior permission of Just Journalism.

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