IN the immediate aftermath of the callous massacre of Palestinians by Israel’s armed forces yesterday, which left about 58 Palestinians dead and scores more injured, media headlines offered textbook examples of how word choice, shapes and distorts news.
Despite Israel having opened fire on a peaceful protest against the opening of the historically provocative US Embassy in Jerusalem, commercial media chose to describe the massacre in passive rather than active language and even describing it as a clash. The headlines read as though the Palestinian deaths were mysterious when they were caused by gunfire from Israeli armed forces. They were deliberately shot dead. It is only after public outcry that the headlines changed to reflect the truth about a people who had been massacred.
The Guardian Headline: “Trumps new embassy opens – and dozens are killed”
The Independent: “In Jerusalem, an embassy opens. In Gaza, at least 58 die on bloodiest day in years”