Back Stories: U.S. News Production and Palestinian Politics
Few topics in the news are more hotly contested than the Israeli-Palestinian conflict—and news coverage itself is always a subject of debate. But rarely do these debates incorporate an on-the-ground perspective of what and who newsmaking entails. Studying how journalists work in Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Ramallah, and Nablus, and on the tense roads that connect these cities, Amahl Bishara demonstrates how the production of U.S. news about Palestinians depends on multifaceted collaborations, typically invisible to Western readers. She focuses on the work that Palestinian journalists do behind the scenes and below the bylines—as fixers, photojournalists, camerapeople, reporters, and producers—to provide the news that Americans read, see, and hear every day.
Ultimately, this book demonstrates how Palestinians play integral roles in producing U.S. news and how U.S. journalism in turn shapes Palestinian politics. U.S. objectivity is in Palestinian journalists' hands, and Palestinian self-determination cannot be fully understood without attention to the journalist standing off to the side, quietly taking notes. Back Stories examines news stories big and small—Yassir Arafat's funeral, female suicide bombers, protests against the separation barrier, an all-but-unnoticed killing of a mentally disabled man—to investigate urgent questions about objectivity, violence, the state, and the production of knowledge in today's news. This book reaches beyond the headlines into the lives of Palestinians during the second intifada to give readers a new vantage point on both Palestinians and journalism.
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Does a Checkpoint Have Two Sides?
1 Balanced Objectivity and Accumulated Authorship
Words That Fly in the Air
2 Arming State Speech Constraining Journalists Work
An Innocent Evening Out? Representing Cultural Life and Resistance
Disinterest and the Scope of the Political
A Reliable Source? Prison Bars as Sound Barrier
5 The Separation Wall as Stage for Refugee Identities
6 Watching US Television from the Palestinian Street
A Discerning Representation of More Than Two Sides
Voice Materiality and Violence
4 The Embodied and UpClose Work of Journalism
Locating the Foreign Correspondent at a Demonstration
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