Monitoring Media Coverage: The Israel-Palestine Conflict and Political Dialogues

Prof. Tamir Sheafer, Dr. Shaul Shenhav, Mr. Yair Fogel-Dror, Ms. Vered Porzycki
The project aims to deliver post factum and real-time insights and analysis on the main trends of media coverage regarding the Israel-Palestine conflict and political dialogues. Special attention is given to international interventions in the conflict. 
Data is collected using a monitoring system that tracks media coverage from news websites in English all over the world, and will be made available for researchers, students, decision makers, journalists and the general public through an open-access website. 
In the last year, we have further developed and validated our computational methods for analyzing the news data. We have conducted several tests for potential categories and established potential measures to gauge media coverage regarding the Israel-Palestine conflict. Among our categories are general ones, such as the use of violence in the conflict, Israel and the Arab world; in addition to specific categories such as Palestinians’ organizations, the BDS movement and interventions of specific governments or international institutions. Our goal is to aggregate these measures into the “Davis index,” as a general measure for international intervention in the Israel-Palestine conflict. We have designed our system in a way that allows for periodic assessments in which we shall try to adapt our measures for specific requests by researchers. Our first meeting is planned for the summer and includes a researchers’ workshop followed by further development of discourse categories.
social-mediaOur method was presented at international conferences in the fields of Political Science and Communications. As detailed in our 2017 report, we have completed the necessary infrastructure for the collection of data on a massive scale, from a large number of sources – starting from 2014 to date. We have also started working on potential interfaces between our system and other infrastructures, both in order to expand the analysis with additional measures (e.g., events, geo-location) and also due to the significant maintenance costs of a long-term, fully functioning monitoring system.