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Is it the same fight? Comparative analysis of CNN and Al Jazeera America’s online coverage of the 2014 Gaza War

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Major international conflicts tend to receive intensified media coverage, which is often framed differently when compared across distinct news networks. This study compares the framing of the 2014 Gaza War by two news organizations operating inside the United States at the time, CNN and Al Jazeera America (AJAM). A content analysis of 74 online news articles during the 50-day war was conducted to examine the type and nature of sources, the reporting on the death toll, the length of the articles and the use of multimedia. The study revealed that AJAM cited only Palestinian citizens in its articles and always differentiated between militants and civilians when reporting on the Palestinian death toll, while nearly 15 per cent of CNN articles did not clarify whether it had been a militant or a civilian who had died. AJAM and CNN would reference Haaretz newspaper in some articles, yet CNN would also reference other Israeli news outlets. In the meantime, unlike its sister channels Al Jazeera Arabic (AJA) and Al Jazeera English (AJE), AJAM seemed to be shifting to American journalistic practices with regard to the use of routine sources and social media in its coverage of the 2014 Gaza War.
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Keywords: Al Jazeera America; CNN; Gaza; content analysis; news framing; online journalism

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Georgia State University 2: An-Najah National University

Publication date: April 1, 2017

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  • The emergence of satellite TV, the internet and digital technology have dramatically changed the way audiences receive information and interact with the media. The sudden success of Al-Jazeera and other Arab broadcasters have altered the way the Arab world narrates itself and reports news from the region to the rest of the world. The journal aims to lead the debate about these emerging rapid changes in media and society in Arab and Muslim parts of the world.
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