How to Challenge Media Bias

February 18, 2016 by Toni Susskind
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Zionism Victoria in partnership with the Israel advocacy group, UIA and Zionist Federation of Australia, have presented a panel discussion “how to challenge media bias”.Comprising Christian Kerr Senior Reporter for the Australian, James Campbell State Political Editor for the Herald Sun and Dr Jennifer Oriel, Political Scientist and Public Commentator the event held at Beth Weizmann was moderated by Caulfield MP David Southwick who explained that the aim of the evening, was to learn how we the public, “can better advocate for Israel” and “How we can learn from the experts to do a better job in presenting our case.”


Christian Kerr, Dr Jennifer Oriel and James Campbell

David Southwick

David Southwick

Beginning with the topic of Anti Semitism versus Anti Zionism. Southwick stated that the left are attempting to differentiate between hating Jews and hating Israel. They are proposing that being anti-Israel is different to being antisemitic. He asked Dr Oriel “is it fair for the left to continue making this distinction and is it working?”

Her response was that anti-Zionism is “not historically accurate” and beginning as a political movement, the idea of Zionism is to provide the Jewish people a land where they “will be safe and free of persecution.” After all Israel is the “original homeland of the Jews.”

She continued explaining that the anti-Zionism movement is creating a “historical falsehood and is a form of revisionism.” As the night continued, media bias was discussed, with the audience being shown a montage of clips from 4 Corners, Sunrise, Channel 7, 60 minutes, and the 7.30 report, as well as a series of headlines all depicting Israel in a negative light. Often the language used was biased, designed to create sympathy for the attackers. In one case a female jihadist who attempted to stab several people, was referred to by 60 minutes as a “happy friendly girl.”


Idan Goldberger, Christian Kerr, Ginette Searle, David Southwick, James Campbell and Jane Rapke

The panel also discussed the myth of the “lone wolf ”attacker and its propagation by the Western media, in order to talk up the innocence of the attacker. However, they did agree that the idea of the Palestinian jihadist who works alone, tends to be a fallacy.   Statistically, they generally come from the same family, same community and although mosques do not encourage the violence, the jihadists tend to frequent the mosques before an attack. Dr Oriel then pointed to the fact that the attacks in Paris, at the Boston Marathon, in the UK and the Pan European attacks were in fact carried out by brothers, disproving the lone wolf theory.

Additionally, the panel discussed the deliberate and increasing use of children as political shields as an example of media bias. Not only does this angle elicit sympathy and bypass critical thinking, it is easier for journalists to show sad kids who are victims of an evil occupier, rather than explain the complexities of the issue.

However, in order to combat misrepresentation in the media, the journalists suggested an immediate reaction. Show the public how jihadists use children. There is footage of the Boston Marathon Bomber putting his backpack filled with explosives behind a young child to achieve maximum impact, comment on jihadist camps set up to train children to fight and die, or the fact that over 70% of recent attacks has been carried out by Palestinian youths.

How to Challenge Media Bias.docx [Compatibility Mode] 2016-02-18 15-00-44


3 Responses to “How to Challenge Media Bias”
  1. Najwa khoury says:

    But ironic isn’t it .. Speak your mind… But really only if we agree with it shall we post it?? Handling media bias is also ironic as reading through the article it appears that we need to shift through the bias you present. Not balanced I’m sorry

  2. David Schulberg says:

    Those people interested in getting involved in Israel advocacy at the grassroots level might like to consider joining the Israel Advocacy Group on FaceBook. This is a closed group so you will need to lean on someone who already belongs to the group to request that they link you in.

  3. LindaGrace Bedford says:

    Many thanks to the organizers of the “How to Challenge Media Bias” at Beth Weizmann last Wed, 17th Feb.
    That so many (250) turned up is testament to a need for more of these
    information sessions.
    I found it very helpful in showing how to react to the false claims of some in the media when facts are distorted.

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