Stanford University Press
Amahl Bishara's thoughtful study on western journalistic coverage during the Second Intifada couldn't come at a more opportune time. The expansion of social media platforms across the Middle East has shaken western journalism to its core. Citizen journalists, bloggers and media watchdogs are increasingly seen as legitimate sources of information and challenge the nature of news from the region and the presumptions driving coverage.
Using the Palestinian Territories as a backdrop for a study of journalism, Bishara expertly unpacks how stereotypes of the Arab world shape news production from Israel and Palestine.
Saturated with field research conducted in the West Bank from 2003 to 2005 and 2007 to 2009, Back Stories: US News Production and Palestinian Politics demonstrates how the relationships between western journalists and Palestinians have contributed to the deterioration of the quality of media coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
As Palestinians coalesce around a new strategy of national liberation with rights at the centre of the platform, mainstream media will be forced to change tactics. Bishara's work is a peek into how challenging this will be for many media outlets.