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Quotes and Agendas: Israelis vs. Palestinians on Media, Public and Policy Agendas
Unformatted Document Text:  Fan-Page 2 Quotes and Agendas: Israelis vs. Palestinians on Media, Public and Policy Agendas Abstract This study ˜ examines the media, public, and policy agendas in five countries relative to the Israeli/Palestinian dispute for periods as long as a quarter century. The media agenda was measured in the Associated Press (AP) for the United States, Agence France Presse (AFP) for France, Deutsche Presse Agentur (DPA) for Germany, TASS/ITAR-TASS (TASS) for the Soviet Union/Russia, and the Xinhua New Agency for China. The full texts from all these news wires archived in the LexisNexis electronic database were searched for quotes by Israelis and Palestinians, using the InfoTrend computer program. The quotes were also scored for the side quoted first in the story. The public agenda in the United States was an assessment of American public sympathy towards Israelis and Palestinians in surveys from the POLL database of the Roper Center at the University of Connecticut. The American policy agenda of interest in Middle Eastern issues was explored by examining surveys asking about Palestinians compared those concerned with Arab nations. The most striking feature of the three types of the American agendas was lack of abrupt changes in any of them throughout the 25 years of the study. All shifts were so gradual that even cataclysmic events such as wars and the September 11 terrorist attacks did not lead to agenda shifts that were obvious by inspection of the time trends. Therefore, parties to the Middle Eastern dispute might not be able to count on a single event to lead to their allies to push effectively for a resolution to the conflict. Turning to other countries, all their news agencies showed a decrease in favorability toward the Israelis in 2002. These trends imply the impact of several factors, including the target audiences and the political environment of the media studied.

Authors: Fan, David. and Weimann, Gabriel.
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Fan-Page 2
Quotes and Agendas: Israelis vs. Palestinians on Media, Public and Policy Agendas
Abstract
This study
˜
examines the media, public, and policy agendas in five countries relative to the
Israeli/Palestinian dispute for periods as long as a quarter century. The media agenda was
measured in the Associated Press (AP) for the United States, Agence France Presse (AFP) for
France, Deutsche Presse Agentur (DPA) for Germany, TASS/ITAR-TASS (TASS) for the Soviet
Union/Russia, and the Xinhua New Agency for China. The full texts from all these news wires
archived in the LexisNexis electronic database were searched for quotes by Israelis and
Palestinians, using the InfoTrend computer program. The quotes were also scored for the side
quoted first in the story. The public agenda in the United States was an assessment of American
public sympathy towards Israelis and Palestinians in surveys from the POLL database of the
Roper Center at the University of Connecticut. The American policy agenda of interest in Middle
Eastern issues was explored by examining surveys asking about Palestinians compared those
concerned with Arab nations. The most striking feature of the three types of the American
agendas was lack of abrupt changes in any of them throughout the 25 years of the study. All
shifts were so gradual that even cataclysmic events such as wars and the September 11 terrorist
attacks did not lead to agenda shifts that were obvious by inspection of the time trends.
Therefore, parties to the Middle Eastern dispute might not be able to count on a single event to
lead to their allies to push effectively for a resolution to the conflict. Turning to other countries,
all their news agencies showed a decrease in favorability toward the Israelis in 2002. These
trends imply the impact of several factors, including the target audiences and the political
environment of the media studied.


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