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Media Analyses

LA Times Headline Update

Los Angeles Times headlines continues to obscure Palestinian responsibility for anti-Israel violence. (Click here for earlier reports on the paper’s ongoing headline problem.) Recent headlines provided a stark example:

Israeli Troops Kill 3 in W. Bank, Close Universities (Jan. 16)

Israeli Soldiers Kill Two Palestinians (Jan. 19)

Gunman, Israeli Settler Die in Raid (Jan. 18)

In the first two cases, Israelis are the perpetrators, and the headlines are straightforward and identify the Israelis as the actors. In contrast, in the third headline, readers would be very hard-pressed to actually understand what had transpired here. A Palestinian murdered an Israeli settler in his home, and was killed in the process. Why isn’t this headline as clear as the other two? It might have read:

Palestinian gunman kills Israeli in raid

In the past, a Los Angles Times representative has said that because the word "Palestinian" is longer than "Israeli" it is more often dropped from the headlines. But, when Palestinians are the victims, such as in the second case, the word "Palestinian" usually fits.

The repeated obscuring of Palestinian perpetration of violence will surely skew readers’ understanding of the conflict.

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