Prioritizing the Middle East
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In the last decade, the Middle East has emerged as the predominant region of conflict within the modern world. The Middle East is often depicted as a breeding ground of violence and instability; where ruthless dictators and monarchs clash with religious fanatics amidst a majority of impoverished civilians caught in the brutal crossfire; where the growth of democracy has been stunted by corruption and modernity has been stifled by fundamentalism. This increased global attention into the Middle East has never been more apparent than the summer of 2007, as many of the region?s countries made the front of global headlines. The Palestinian split between Fatah and Hamas, the Iraq war, the nuclear program in Iran, the internal fighting in Lebanon, and the numerous terrorist attacks throughout the region were only a handful of issues that shaped the Middle East this summer. Yet the Middle East is more than just a region that is newsworthy from conflict; it is a region that is shaped by varying interests. Because there are many simultaneous issues within the region, global news sources are able to shape the region based upon their readership, deciding on which issues are more important than others. This summer I am analyzing the Middle East coverage within three regionally based global news sources, the New York Times, the BBC, and al-Jazeera.The goal of this project will be to illustrate the discrepancies in Middle East news coverage between the said sources, and highlight the potential implications of such variations.