Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Al Jazeera's influence on the Middle Eastern peace process

How much influence does the Middle Eastern broadcaster Al Jazeera have over any settlement of the Israel-Palestinian conflict?

Quite a lot according to Noah Bonsey and Jeb Koogler who believe that negotiators should take note that

The channel’s tremendous popularity has also, for better or worse, made it a shaper of public opinion. Its coverage often determines what becomes a story and what does not, as well as how Arab viewers think about issues.

They add that

The result of Al Jazeera’s market dominance is that it has itself become a mover and shaker in Palestinian politics, helping to craft public perceptions and influence the debate. This has obvious implications for the peace process: how Al Jazeera covers the deliberations and the outcome of any negotiated agreement with Israel will fundamentally shape how it is viewed—and, more importantly, whether it is accepted—by the Palestinian public.

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