Ungrievable lives: Australian print media portrayals of Palestinian casualties during the Gaza War of 2014
Australian Journalism Review
School of Arts and Humanities / Centre for Research in Entertainment, Arts, Technology, Education and Communications
In July‐August 2014, Israel launched a military operation, Protective Edge, in which approximately 2200 Palestinians were killed and over 11,000 injured, the majority of them civilians. These casualties resulted in increased interest in the region by the Australian news media. Using framing theory, we analysed 75 news articles published by two Australian mainstream newspapers, The Australian and The Sydney Morning Herald (The SMH), in order to determine how these Palestinian casualties were portrayed. Our findings show that the conflict frame was dominant in the newspapers’ representations of the Palestinian casualties and that their voices were infrequently incorporated alongside those of officials and medics. Israeli actions were justified in relation to Palestinian casualties through the reliance on Israeli voices and pro-Israel sources, while Palestinian casualties were occasionally individualised. In other words, the Palestinian casualties were portrayed by both newspapers as regrettable yet nonetheless necessary for Israel’s existence and right of defence.
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