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Communicating with Power

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Edited By Cherian George

Communication is ubiquitous and information is abundant. Political and economic markets are more open than they have ever been. Yet, there is no escaping the fact that communication continues to flow across fields where power is distributed unevenly. This collection of articles analyzes and responds to asymmetries of power in a diversity of contexts. They are drawn from presentations at the 2016 Annual Conference of the International Communication Association, held in Fukuoka, Japan. The conference theme presented an opening for scholars from various disciplines and academic traditions to engage with the questions of power at different levels of analysis—from micro sites of power like a doctor’s consultation room, to the geopolitical arenas where nations wage war, make peace, and spy on one another. The resulting collection straddles different methodologies and styles, from survey research to essays. Leading scholars and junior researchers have combined to create a volume that reflects the breadth of communication scholarship and its contemporary concerns.

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Chapter Four: Media, Parliaments and NGOs in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (Marc Jungblut / Adolfo Carratalá / Beatriz Herrero)

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CHAPTER FOUR

Media, Parliaments AND NGOs IN THE Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

MARC JUNGBLUT, ADOLFO CARRATALÁ AND BEATRIZ HERRERO



Wars and violent conflicts are complex situations that are difficult to understand fully and impossible to observe holistically. To make sense of current affairs, people mostly rely on whatever discourses they have available, mainly media coverage (Baden 2014). Scholars have often pointed out that people turn on the news to gain a deeper understanding of what is happening on the ground, since there seems to be a general public interest in violent events and direct access to information is usually restricted (e.g. Nohrstedt et al. 2000; Wolfsfeld 1997).

However, one of the characteristics of the news discourse is that it provides a selective perspective of conflict events, pointing towards a specific understanding of what is going on (cf. de Bens, Hauttekeete, and Ghent 2002; Entman 1991). As a result, public opinion is largely shaped by “the interpretation of the events by elites, rather than the events themselves” (Gershkoff and Kushner 2005, 526).

Moreover, journalistic news production does not happen in an empty space. Journalists rely on external news sources and consequently the news discourse interrelates with other forms of discourse such as strategic communications or parliamentary debates (Fröhlich and Jungblut 2015; Reich 2010). In this scenario, the media arena is a highly competitive environment with many different communicators trying to push their message forward into the news...

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