Approaching Conflicts
Contexts, Perspectives, and Values in Israel Education

Unrest on the Temple Mount: Three Cases of Media Bias

Toolkit Resource


Media bias is present in different ways in different areas. To get a sense, look at the following headlines about unrest on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem in September 2015:

  • From the New York Times: UN Calls for Calm, Restraint at Jerusalem's Holiest Site. 
  • From Israel’s Yediot Aharonot: Police brace for Temple Mount violence in wake of restless night
  • From the Palestinian news agency WAFA: Israel Suppresses Pro-al-Aqsa Rallies across West Bank

These three headlines represent Israeli, Palestinian, and American media outlets. As such, they provide an ideal opportunity to consider perspective, point of view, or bias.  The Israeli and Palestinian outlets are reporting what is, essentially, a local story for their readers, while the US outlet is reporting on global events. However important a reader of the New York Times may think the issue is, he or she won’t have to take steps to avoid traffic jams around the Old City on the way to school or work. Every media outlet assumes certain things about itself and its readers when it publishes a story, and some of these assumptions can be seen in this example.