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    • February 2008
    • 9780231133494
  • 456 Pages

  • Paperback
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    • February 2008
    • 9780231133487
  • 456 Pages

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    • February 2008
    • 9780231508261
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Pens and Swords

How the American Mainstream Media Report the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Marda Dunsky

As world attention is renewed and refocused on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict at the sixtieth anniversary of its seminal year of 1948, Marda Dunsky takes a close look at how more than two dozen major American print and broadcast outlets have reported the conflict in recent years. Beginning with the failed Camp David summit of July 2000 through the waning of the second Palestinian uprising in the summer of 2004, she finds that the media omit two key contextual elements: the significant impact that U.S. policy has had and continues to have on the trajectory of the conflict, and the way international law and consensus have addressed the key issues of Israeli settlement and annexation policies and Palestinian refugees. Dunsky explores how reports of the conflict routinely take on the contours of American policy and rarely challenge the premises of this "Washington consensus." She also examines the media's responses to allegations of biased coverage and gauges the effect that mainstream news reporting has on public opinion and U.S. foreign policy.

About the Author

Marda Dunsky is a former Arab affairs reporter for the Jerusalem Post and editor on the national/foreign desk of the Chicago Tribune. She is on the faculty of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. Dunsky's work on U.S. media coverage of the Middle East has been published in the Journal of Islamic Law and Culture, Arab Studies Quarterly and Nieman Reports. Her op-ed pieces on the Middle East have appeared in the Chicago Tribune and other newspapers.

"This detailed work should be on the shopping list of all American correspondents moving to Jerusalem." — Simon Wilson, Nieman Reports

"[Dunsky's] writing is perceptive and her arguments insightful" — JEWISH BOOK WORLD

"A comprehensive account of just how difficult it is to offer a 'fair and balanced' narrative of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict or the United States-Israel relationship." — Mark LeVine, TIKKUN

"Pens and Swords offers valuable insights into several fields and is a good read for a wide readership." — Jørgen Jensehaugen, JOURNAL OF PEACE RESEARCH

"Marda Dunsky comprehensively documents the shortcomings of the mainstream U.S. news media in their coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict." — Walter Rodgers, The Christian Century

"This is an important book; a vital contribution to the scholarship on this issue. The empirical evidence that Dunsky has so diligently provided for her arguments constitutes her book's greatest strength." — Karim H. Karim, Director, School of Journalism and Communication, Carleton University, Canada

"Written by a journalist and scholar who has reported from the region, this book is a perceptive, careful, and factual assessment of why the American mainstream media do such an exceedingly poor job of conveying the realities of the conflict between Palestinians and Israelis, instead perpetuating stereotypes and echoing the conceits of policymakers in Washington." — Rashid Khalidi, Edward W. Said Professor of Arab Studies, Middle East Institute, Columbia University

"Pens and Swords doesn't just decry systematic distortion but explains why it happens again and again. Marda Dunsky makes use of theory to illuminate rather than obscure, bringing academic rigor to a topic so politicized that many avoid it out of fear. Thanks to Dunsky for this brave and timely book." — Robert Jensen, University of Texas at Austin

About the Author

Marda Dunsky is a former Arab affairs reporter for the Jerusalem Post and editor on the national/foreign desk of the Chicago Tribune. She is on the faculty of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. Dunsky's work on U.S. media coverage of the Middle East has been published in the Journal of Islamic Law and Culture, Arab Studies Quarterly and Nieman Reports. Her op-ed pieces on the Middle East have appeared in the Chicago Tribune and other newspapers.

Acknowledgments
Introduction
1. The Policy Mirror
2. Reporting the Palestinian Refugee Story
3. Reporting on Israeli Settlements
4. Apex of the Spiral: Reporting the Violent Spring of 2002
5. The War at Home
6. In the Field
7. Toward a New Way of Reporting the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
Notes
Index

About the Author

Marda Dunsky is a former Arab affairs reporter for the Jerusalem Post and editor on the national/foreign desk of the Chicago Tribune. She is on the faculty of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. Dunsky's work on U.S. media coverage of the Middle East has been published in the Journal of Islamic Law and Culture, Arab Studies Quarterly and Nieman Reports. Her op-ed pieces on the Middle East have appeared in the Chicago Tribune and other newspapers.

About the Author

Marda Dunsky is a former Arab affairs reporter for the Jerusalem Post and editor on the national/foreign desk of the Chicago Tribune. She is on the faculty of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. Dunsky's work on U.S. media coverage of the Middle East has been published in the Journal of Islamic Law and Culture, Arab Studies Quarterly and Nieman Reports. Her op-ed pieces on the Middle East have appeared in the Chicago Tribune and other newspapers.

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About the Author

Marda Dunsky is a former Arab affairs reporter for the Jerusalem Post and editor on the national/foreign desk of the Chicago Tribune. She is on the faculty of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. Dunsky's work on U.S. media coverage of the Middle East has been published in the Journal of Islamic Law and Culture, Arab Studies Quarterly and Nieman Reports. Her op-ed pieces on the Middle East have appeared in the Chicago Tribune and other newspapers.

About the Author

Marda Dunsky is a former Arab affairs reporter for the Jerusalem Post and editor on the national/foreign desk of the Chicago Tribune. She is on the faculty of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. Dunsky's work on U.S. media coverage of the Middle East has been published in the Journal of Islamic Law and Culture, Arab Studies Quarterly and Nieman Reports. Her op-ed pieces on the Middle East have appeared in the Chicago Tribune and other newspapers.