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Quotes and Agendas: Israelis vs. Palestinians on Media, Public and Policy Agendas
Unformatted Document Text:  Fan-Page 5 Media agenda. Individual policy options have changed during the two and half decades of the present study. Therefore, this paper does not measure press coverage of individual policies. Instead, the approach was to use a method that could assess the ability of the two sides to promote their ideas in the mass media, regardless of the details of the ideas. This method focuses on the extent to which the two sides were quoted in the American media. In straight news, there is little use of sarcasm and innuendo because reporters know that the general public might well lack the background to know when a statement uses these devices. Therefore, mainstream news stories tend to quote sources in a direct fashion with views of the speaker being transmitted without distortion. As a result, quotes in news coverage give a good indication of the ability of the two sides to place their agenda items before the American public. In addition, quotes earlier in a story are likely to be more effective, if for no other reason than the fact that the reader might not continue to the end. Therefore, one measure of the ability of the two sides to reach the American population with their aims is the extent to which they are quoted earlier in a story, thereby leading to this research question: RQ1: To what extent are Palestinians and Israelis quoted in American news stories, either first or at all? Public agenda. As with the media agenda, this paper considers survey questions that were asked repeatedly over the quarter century of the study. Again, questions on individual policies were not examined because they were not constant, thereby making it difficult to study their evolution. Fortunately, one survey question has endured over the time period of the study. That question has asked about sympathy for the two sides. This question is important to both parties since it gives an important context for considering policy alternatives. So: RQ2: How much sympathy has the American public shown to the Palestinians and Israelis over time? Policy agenda. As with the media and public agendas, this paper again examined an aspect of policy that would have some persistence. This topic was the American foreign policy focus on Palestinians relative to Arab nations. This focus is important to both Israelis and Palestinians in making their cases to the United States government. It can be difficult to assess the agenda of American policy makers over time but a useful source of information on the prominence of an issue on policy agenda is in its appeal pollsters. Survey organizations often poll about options when controversial policies are under consideration. Therefore, the mere existence of questions on surveys is a good indicator of policy options under consideration by key decision makers. For the policy agenda of Israeli relationships with Palestinians and with Arab nations: RQ3: How do the Israeli, Palestinian and Arab nations issues change over time on the American polling agenda? The setting of the Israeli/Palestinian agenda in the United States

Authors: Fan, David. and Weimann, Gabriel.
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Fan-Page 5
Media agenda. Individual policy options have changed during the two and half decades
of the present study. Therefore, this paper does not measure press coverage of individual
policies. Instead, the approach was to use a method that could assess the ability of the two sides
to promote their ideas in the mass media, regardless of the details of the ideas. This method
focuses on the extent to which the two sides were quoted in the American media. In straight
news, there is little use of sarcasm and innuendo because reporters know that the general public
might well lack the background to know when a statement uses these devices. Therefore,
mainstream news stories tend to quote sources in a direct fashion with views of the speaker being
transmitted without distortion. As a result, quotes in news coverage give a good indication of the
ability of the two sides to place their agenda items before the American public. In addition,
quotes earlier in a story are likely to be more effective, if for no other reason than the fact that
the reader might not continue to the end. Therefore, one measure of the ability of the two sides
to reach the American population with their aims is the extent to which they are quoted earlier in
a story, thereby leading to this research question:
RQ1: To what extent are Palestinians and Israelis quoted in American news stories,
either first or at all?
Public agenda. As with the media agenda, this paper considers survey questions that
were asked repeatedly over the quarter century of the study. Again, questions on individual
policies were not examined because they were not constant, thereby making it difficult to study
their evolution. Fortunately, one survey question has endured over the time period of the study.
That question has asked about sympathy for the two sides. This question is important to both
parties since it gives an important context for considering policy alternatives. So:
RQ2: How much sympathy has the American public shown to the Palestinians and
Israelis over time?
Policy agenda. As with the media and public agendas, this paper again examined an
aspect of policy that would have some persistence. This topic was the American foreign policy
focus on Palestinians relative to Arab nations. This focus is important to both Israelis and
Palestinians in making their cases to the United States government.

It can be difficult to assess the agenda of American policy makers over time but a useful source
of information on the prominence of an issue on policy agenda is in its appeal pollsters. Survey
organizations often poll about options when controversial policies are under consideration.
Therefore, the mere existence of questions on surveys is a good indicator of policy options under
consideration by key decision makers. For the policy agenda of Israeli relationships with
Palestinians and with Arab nations:
RQ3: How do the Israeli, Palestinian and Arab nations issues change over time on the
American polling agenda?

The setting of the Israeli/Palestinian agenda in the United States


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