BY ADEYEMI OSHUNRINADE
August 3, 2014
Pro-Israeli groups, who believe the messages, sympathize with Palestinians, while ignoring the fact that Israelis also suffer from the war, view the role of the media in the ongoing war, as bias and unfair to Israel. The coverage by CNN and presence of its news anchor Wolf Blitzer, in Jerusalem has done less to persuade those who think journalistic approach to the war, has been to portray Israel as the aggressor and show the people of Gaza as the oppressed at the mercy of Israel, a more powerful army.
The worldwide images and stories of war are convincing and impossible to ignore. Whether such images and videos convey the true story can be put to test, but the fact is, Israel is fast losing the American media war. The media is supposed to be objective and convey balanced news, but with the development of social media, a game changer in the way people get news, more people are turning to Facebook, YouTube, blogs and others to get uncensored information, making one to question whether mainstream media are disseminating authentic stories to consumers.
The fact is, Israelis are suffering too and the nation has no peace due to daily rockets fired into Israel. However, there is secrecy to what is going on inside Israel since the war began, despite presence of mainstream media in the country. These days it is easy to be called anti-Semitic by posting a video or writing opinion seen as unsupportive of Israel, but the problem is, mainstream media is not showing video and images of Israelis suffering from daily attacks by Hamas.
The lack of information or misinformation is the reason it seems the world is unsympathetic to Israel. It is hard to find video and reports from mainstream media, showing Israelis running into bunkers or hiding from Hamas rockets. The outcome is, people accept whatever information comes from Facebook, YouTube and other social media outlets that in most cases, give the news as they happen on the ground. Unfortunately for Israeli public relations, those images and reports give unfiltered information about human sufferings in Gaza.
Israeli citizens themselves are not doing enough to showcase the fear and stress they experience daily due to Hamas’ rockets. Many have posted videos on YouTube and Facebook, showing Israel’s bombardment of militants as they attempt to carry out attack on Israel through tunnels. Unfortunately, such videos only support people’ belief that Israel is the aggressor, while it fails to convey the right message that Israelis are also suffering. There are no images and video of Israeli children traumatized by daily rockets from Hamas but yet, there are many showing Palestinian children being killed.
Daily the world get to see inside hospitals in Gaza, where women and children get treated for various wounds of war, but the media is yet to show inside Israeli hospitals or showcase any story about the psychological effects of Hamas rockets on Israeli citizens. Many complain about the agony of hearing sirens go off daily in Israel, but Israeli media is not showing how people react to it and the effects it has on daily life in Israel. The question is, what are people supposed to believe, Verifiable journalism or one cloaked in secrecy?
No doubt there is devastation in Gaza and the fact, does not erase the belief that innocent Israelis are suffering too. However, Israeli media is failing to present a valid case for compassion and as a result, Israel is losing the media war. Citizens of Israel must do more through social media to make the world see other side of the story. They must post stories, videos and images backed with comments and arguments, that make the case for Israel and not caricatures, that work against Israel.
Adeyemi Oshunrinade [E. JD] is the author of ‘Wills Law and Contests,’ ‘Constitutional Law-First Amendment’ and ‘SAVING LOVE’ available at http://www.amazon.com/author/adeyemioshunrinade. Follow on Twitter @san0670.