Media professor explains bias in Western reporting on Palestinian-Israeli conflict

Gregory Shupak, a professor of English and media studies at the University of Guelph-Humber in Toronto, Canada, and author of the book “The Wrong Story: Palestine, Israel and the Media,” discussed the bias exhibited by Western news media organizations in their portrayal of the Palestinian quest for independence in a lecture organized by the Department of English Language and Literature on Wednesday, March 27, 2019. 

In the lecture, which is part of the 2019 Colonization Resistance Week at Birzeit University, Shupak explained that the Western mainstream media portray the conflict as taking place between two equal powers when they discuss similarities in the rhetoric of both sides, a conclusion that is both incorrect and disingenuous.  

Shupak gave pointed examples of skewed reporting by Western media outlets, such as The Guardian and The New York Times, during times of crises in the occupied Palestinian territories, such as the 2014 war on Gaza. 

Shupak also discussed how the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement is portrayed by international news media organizations as a campaign that intends to harm the Israeli economy and isolate Israeli academics, when in fact it aims to raise awareness of the actions of an occupying state. 

The 2019 Colonization Resistance Week, organized by the Right to Education Campaign from March 25 to 28 on Birzeit University’s campus, includes symposia, public lectures, group book readings, and film screenings that highlight how the occupation impacts every aspect of Palestinian life.