Cartoons in the Media Coverage of Mecca Agreement and the National Unity Government
Cartoons of the three daily Palestinian newspapers Al-Quds, Al-Ayyam and Al-Hayat Al-Jadidah, have not been far removed from political developments on the ground in the Palestinian territories, particularly in the Gaza Strip, during the past six months. It is worth noting that the cartoons’ monitoring period was completed prior to Hamas’ control over Gaza Strip.
The cartoons published in the three newspapers during January 1- March 31, 2007 portrayed reality in a manner that news and news agencies reports had not portrayed. These latter sufficed in conveying events, developments and consequences, while cartoons reflected reality satirically. Cartoons expressed the real mood of the people towards issues they were living, and which constituted a main source of concern, fear, anger and hope towards infighting between Fateh and Hamas, and also towards the Mecca Agreement and the subsequent National Unity Government.
As some may define cartoons as the “art of monitoring perversity and deformation existing in nature” or the “art of comic tragedy” or “tragic-comedy,” the Palestinian political cartoon has succeeded in its mission at this stage, in criticizing local political reality, and even the international politics that addressed the Palestinian event selectively and with double standards.
Because cartoons always have some truth in them and constitute a message to the reader to understand the event and the underlying connotation, we at MIFTAH Media Monitoring Unit chose to monitor, through several cartoons published in the three daily newspapers-Al-Quds, Al-Ayyam and Al- Hayat Al-Jadidah, the events of the first quarter of the current year, namely the infighting, security disorder, and the subsequent political developments, particularly the Mecca Agreement and the National Unity Government.
This monitoring process evidently showed that the cartoon coverage of events was much better in the three newspapers and more truthful in expressing events. The cartoons were capable of inferring the dominant event or the political climate that had prevailed during the first three months of the current year.
The predominant events attracted cartoonists of the three newspapers, each according to his/her understanding and style, so that these cartoons reflect their own reasoning, thoughts and perspective towards these events, hence reflecting the silent public opinion truthfully.