The coverage of the Intifada in the UK Arab daily press
This thesis presents the results of an examination of the coverage of the Palestinian uprising, the Intifada, by the expatriate Arab newspapers in Britain. The study breaks new ground in two respects. First it examines the performance of the expatriate Arab press, to which almost no scholarly research or analysis has so far been devoted. Second, it provides data on media responses to the Intifada, which the scholarly literature has also tended to ignore, particularly regarding Arab media. The thesis employed two methods: content analysis (both quantitative and qualitative) and interviews with a number of the papers' editors and personnel. These methods were believed to be proper for providing the required data for examining the papers' attitdes towards the Intifada, either by assessing the major articles and news items or the photographs and cartoons which illustrated the Palestinian uprising. Our examination of the papers coverage of the Intifada showed that they all allocated an extensive and a regular coverage to the Intifada news, as well as their regular comments and analysis on its developments. They, however, relied primarily on the news from within the Occupied Territories on wire services rather than their own correspondents. The papers expressed an unlimited support for the Palestinian struggle, directing their accusation towards Israel. Moreover, they criticised the overall Arab reaction to the Intifada, but showed a satisfaction with the responses of their owners' home countries. The papers were critical to the reaction of the Western countries, particularly the USA and the role played by the UN and its failure in dealing with the Israeli harsh measures in the Occupied Territories and called for practical UN resolutions to put an end to the Israeli oppression. The British reaction to the Intifada was, however, viewed by the papers satisfactorily. As far as the peace process was concerned, the expatriate dailies typically called for a peaceful solution to put an end to the conflict, and they all blamed Israel for the stalemate in the peace process. They supported the PLO's peace policy of reconcialiation and compromise and backed the Arab proposed international peace conference. In conclusion, the expatriate Arab press generally took a very firm stand towards the Intifada, offering both sympathy and support to the Palestinians, and criticising other parties involved, but at the same time typically showing their support so far as the peace process is concerned, which no doubt reflects their moderate line regarding the conflict as a whole.