The Israeli-Egyptian Peace Process in the Reporting of Western Journalists

The Israeli-Egyptian Peace Process in the Reporting of Western Journalists

The Israeli-Egyptian Peace Process in the Reporting of Western Journalists

The Israeli-Egyptian Peace Process in the Reporting of Western Journalists

Synopsis

Of the enormous number of books published on the Arab-Israeli conflict, most focus on its history or the political dimensions of the current peace process. None, however, has provided an in-depth look at the relationship between those who shape the events and the Western journalists who cover them. In this bold new study, Mohammed A. el-Nawawy explores the ways in which government officials try to manipulate the news media, how the reporters contend with such interference, the professional and newsmaking roles of the journalists, and how their demographic and educational backgrounds influence their coverage of this crucial time and place.

Excerpt

There have been tens, if not hundreds, of books published on the Arab-Israeli conflict, most of which have focused on the historical perspective of the strife. Some of these books have tried to offer a critical analysis of the political dimensions of the peace process in the Middle East. However, none of these books have included an on-the-spot thorough investigation of both the official and the news sides of the conflict. This book seeks to provide a succinct overview of the main political, cultural, and religious issues in Israel and Egypt through the eyes of Western correspondents operating in the two countries.

The initial study, which was conducted in the fall of 1998, investigated how access to information about the Middle East conflict by Western correspondents in Israel and Egypt is affected by the governments’ information delivery systems; the demographic and educational backgrounds of the correspondents and their professional and newsmaking roles; and the cultural environments (language and religion) in which those correspondents work.

This book conveys the opinions of 168 Western correspondents (94 correspondents in Israel and 74 in Egypt) representing more than 88 percent of the whole population of foreign correspondents in the Middle East region during the time the study was conducted. These correspondents are considered to be the best sources to give the readers some “feel” of the day-to-day interactions between government officials and news reporters. I should note here that some of the correspondents might have moved to other countries or returned to their home countries after the study was conducted.

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