Devastating report issued which clearly demonstrates the Guardian’s obsession with Israel

The following quantitative analysis, of Middle East reporting by the UK media in 2010, by Just Journalism demonstrates, among other findings, the egregiously disproportionate coverage devoted to Israel, in comparison with other nations in the region, by the Guardian.

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.

Just Journalism noted that:

“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 filestories on a near-daily basis.

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

Read the entire report, here.

19 replies »

  1. It would have been far more interesting if a comparison to stories concerning Britain was also included, e.g. Afghanistan, Northern Ireland, etc.

    Also a breakdown of the positive/negative split would be helpful. After all, nobody would object if the disproportionate number of article were devoted to Israel’s technological or artistic achievements.

  2. The disgustingness would be unbelievable had we not seen the disproportion so many times before.

    I wonder if people would like to hear Fouad Ajami on Egypt. It comes near the end of the piece.

    And – Fouad Ajami. A grasp of Middle East politics in just one person. The Guardian can’t do it with dozens (more?) and years.

  3. Oh dear. CifWatch picking on The (poor) Guardian again?

    Hardly ‘fair and balanced’.

    But then, The Guardian claims to be ‘fair and balanced’.

    No! Don’t laugh.

    I’m serious.

  4. What you have here is a basic regression. Actually it’s more of a simple correlation. Now, in statistics, you cannot show causality with a regression. So essentially, the above analysis, while nice and cheerful, is actually relatively meaningless in a ‘quantitative’ sense.

    Best wishes.

  5. Amazing statistics. I have commented many time on the disproportionate coverage – the obsession – with Israel – these numbers are an order of magnitude worse than I imagined.

    So they don’t really care all that much for the “Arab Spring” or the life of the Arab man and woman in the street. It is simply hatred, that fuels their reporting on Israel.

    As for MindTheCrap’s idiotic comment above – I would hope – but after this analysis am not sure – that their coverage of Britain and their own little war in Afghanistan would draw more articles, columns and editorials than reporting about a tiny country of 7 million people that poses no threat to Britain even though Britain is Israel’s second largest trading partner, apparently.

  6. Surely the simple explanation is that Egypt, Libya and Tunisia were ‘politically inert’ during 2010. All were under longstanding dictators. Israel, on the contrary, had a lot going on, both in the internal politics of a democracy and in terms of the on and off peace process. 2011 statistics will look very different given the events of the ‘arab spring’.

    • Hope “springs” eternal … you are very naive, sencar, to think that obsessives like this will devote equal or more time to events outside Israel.

      • He´s not naive,he´s mendacious, as many anti-zionist obessives of the “intellectual” brand.

  7. The Montreal Gazette is certainly reporting on Egypt and the conclusion of Sherif Emil: “Still waiting for an Egyptian revolution”.

    Why can’t The Guardian see it? Three-Wise-Monkeying to Arabs?

  8. Of course a sizeable chunk of that “News reporting about Israel” is in fact about Israel/Palestine. So the obsession – while certainly a valid term – surely applies to the conflict and not simply Israel.

    But still, yes, the reporting is indeed more than excessive.

    • Really Pretz. I dream of the day that The Guardian management team are hauled before some tribunal to justify their obsession with Israel. And I am sure that they will be mouthing other statistics to obfuscate this ‘find’.

      But the evidence, statistics are just too damning whether the actual thrust of the article is about ‘Palestine’ with the obligatory denunciation of Israel.

      • “I dream of the day that The Guardian management team are hauled before some tribunal to justify their obsession with Israel.”

        Amen, may it be soon. And may the tribunal be none other than that of the Jewish State.

        European anti-Zionism is so egregious in its patronizing demeanor. Now, I don’t like anti-Zionism coming from Americans any better, but at least Americans can say they have a stake in my local situation because of U.S. aid to Israel, and I can’t reply with anything more than a wish to see Israel weaned off soon (we’re getting there–the aid is now just 1.1% of Israel’s GDP, thanks to Netanyahu’s policies back when he was Minister of Finance). But European states haven’t been involved in any kind of aid to Israel since 1967 (when De Gaulle decided to trash the France-Israel alliance). What is their excuse? How is it their business?

        “I don’t like Israel” is fine–you can’t like all countries. “Israel needs to give up land for peace” is interventionism, poking one’s nose into other people’s affairs. This just passes with Americans for the reason I mentioned, but Europeans had better mind their own affairs, which are increasingly looking very similar to Israel’s (I’m talking about the nature of the enemy now within the gates).

  9. Unfortunately the facts prove you anti-Guardianistas wrong. As I said above when there’s nothing happening, little gets reported. Now Egypt, Tunisia and Libya are the flavour of the (three) month(s). A couple of weeks ago The Guardian had an ‘Egypt special’ week when two pages were devoted each day to Egyptian issues; even I got fed up and skipped some of it. There is a page at least every day on the ‘arab spring’ in general. Meanwhile Israel/Palestine typically gets a report every couple of days.
    However there are two very good articles in the Guardian Media supplement today demonstrating the pro-Israel bias of the BBC and its complaints department; well worth reading….

  10. israel has always been the favored nation in all british media.

    bbcwatch did a thorough analysis of BBC and found that almost 20% of all pictures published online were based on the israeli palestinian conflict. the next closest was sudan, with roughly 5% of all pictures posted based on the darfur conflict.

    let’s see – darfur, 350-400k since 2003 – 5% coverage
    israel/palestine – ~14,500k in 100 years – 20% coverage

    hmmm…that certainly isn’t biased at all. nope. math=zionist propaganda.

  11. silencing wasn’t as offensive as spending 100k british pounds in legal fees preventing its release.

    what a disgrace. at least the guardian doesn’t leech off public funding to promote its propaganda.