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Date posted: March 07, 2005
By MIFTAHs Media Monitoring Unit

The traditional role of the media as reporters of the truth can play an important role in conflicts. A key function of the media is to provide the public with the information necessary to make good decisions. It is important to realize that decisions are not only based on events but also very much on how events are presented. The media can seek to confirm or question official accounts, reveal official deceit, and correct errors of omission. Recent advances in the field of information technology have enabled the media to have a much greater impact on public opinion than ever before. The media provide the public with an indispensable service. It is one of the pillars of modern society.

Since the 1993 Oslo Accords which brought limited autonomy to Palestinian society, the tasks of the Palestinian media have changed radically. On the one hand, the media is expected to contribute to nation-building based on the prospective that the endgame of the Accords will be an independent, free, and democratic Palestinian state. On the other hand, it must deal with the reality that most of the Palestinian territory that will be the territory of the future Palestinian state is still occupied, and that it would indeed be early to shift the focus of the media away from the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. However, the two missions should not have to contradict each other since an honest, authentic, investigative, non-biased and informative media will serve both goals.

The spirit of the Oslo Accords made confidence-building between Palestinians and Israelis an indispensable condition to moving ahead in the peace process, and it gave the media in Palestine and Israel a decisive role in the difficult process of creating this crucial common ground. However, the failure of Camp David negotiations in July 2000 and the eruption of the second Intifada soon afterwards proved both sides failure in achieving this mission.

Acknowledging the importance of the media in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict in particular, MIFTAH-The Palestinian Initiative for the Promotion of Global Dialogue and Democracy and KESHEV-Center for Protection of Democracy in Israel agreed to launch a joint project monitoring media coverage and professionalism on both the Palestinian and Israeli sides. The project will ultimately facilitate the development of an independent media and a culture of moderation, tolerance, and understanding between the two peoples, through monitoring, research, advocacy, and lobbying activities without jeopardizing the freedom of expression. What follows is a report on the first stage of this research project, scheduled to continue through 2005 and 2006

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By: MIFTAH's Media Monitoring Unit
Date: 15/05/2010
By: MIFTAH's Media Monitoring Unit
Date: 20/12/2009
By: MIFTAH's Media Monitoring Unit
Date: 15/07/2009

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