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About Palestine Media Watch


WHAT IS PMWATCH?

PMWATCH was established in October of 2000 to promote fair and accurate coverage of the Israeli occupation of Palestine in the US mainstream media. In broad terms, our mission is two-fold: (1) identify, report on, and protest clear journalistic failures by the US media in covering the conflict, and (2) help media outlets with access to pro-Palestinian points of view and voices for interviews, op-eds, or background discussions, whether here in the United States, in Israel, or in the Occupied Territories (OT).

WHAT DOES PMWATCH DO?

PMWATCH is an-all volunteer organization with 42 local chapters across the United States.

Our work has been mentioned by The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The Chicago Tribune, CNN, NPR, Voice of America, Pacifica Radio, The Nation Magazine, The Associated Press, The American Journalism Review, Foreign Policy, to name just the most prominent media outlets. (See http://www.pmwatch.org/pmw/chronicle/mediamentions.html for more details.)

Our group leaders and members have conducted dozens of meetings with editorial boards and foreign desk editors, have published scores of op-eds and hundreds of letters in all the major newspapers and magazines, and have been interviewed in various radio and television shows.

PMWATCH has also published many reports on media failures and has co-sponsored various workshops and conferences. See: http://www.pmwatch.org/pmw/reports/

More specifically, PMWATCH engages in two types of actions:

I. Empowering members to react effectively to media failings

We are well aware that merely exhorting people to act –- to write letters and make phone calls -- is not enough. People are often willing to get involved, but either they do not know how to get involved or find the task of media watching daunting and difficult to fulfill on a consistent basis. Our challenge has been to make it as easy for people to become good media critics and to be able to do so easily and routinely. To that end, we have developed:

II. Constructive pressure

We are also fully aware that mere criticism of the media will not bring about the change we feel is necessary for a healthy coverage of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict by the US media. Parallel constructive efforts are essential to our mission. To that end we engage in regular pro-active actions that encourage various segments of the media -– those who write the news and those who comment on it -– to be more familiar with the Palestinian perspective.

More specifically, on every one of the four Wednesdays of each month, we send a message, via snail mail and email, as follows:

    · 1st Wednesday: Monthly message to foreign desk editors, sharing with them a list of people willing to be interviewed and alerting them of failures in the news coverage in the US media;

    · 2nd Wednesday: (a) Monthly message to op-ed editors, sharing with them a list of op-ed writers; and a message to sympathetic op-ed writers, encouraging them to submit to op-ed editors.

    · 3rd Wednesday: Monthly message to media writers – i.e., commentators on the media;

    · 4th Wednesday: Monthly message to scholars about the Middle East, alerting them about media failures;

WHAT ARE THEY SAYING ABOUT PMWATCH?

To help you gage the positive reaction that many scholars and media analysts have had about PMWATCH, here is what some prominent people have said about us:

"Monitoring of media, and attempts to correct for error or imbalance, are difficult and demanding tasks, essential ones for a democratic society. That is particularly true for sensitive issues about which there are, rightly, strong and often conflicting judgments. I have been impressed with the care and sophistication of the work of PMWatch, and its constructive achievements. Extension of its valuable work would be a substantial contribution to public understanding and policy formation in areas of immense significance." -- Prof. Noam Chomsky MIT, Linguistics

"To keep the media honest on the Middle East, several of Palestine's brightest young minds created PMWATCH. This worthy project deserves the support of everyone seeking a just and durable peace." -- Prof. Norman G. Finkelstein, Princeton University

"Palestine Media Watch is something I've been longing for for years. It provides a counter-weight to an aggressive pressure group that has helped make the media seriously biased on Middle East issues. That bias has contributed to U.S. support for cruel and illegal policies that make for interminable repression and warfare and preclude reconciliation. Palestine Media Watch is doing an excellent job and deserves unstinting support." -- Prof. Edward S. Herman, Emeritus, Finance, Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania

"The Palestine Media Watch (http://www.pmwatch.org) is one of the best media monitoring sites I've encountered, period.... Many pro-Israel media monitoring sites could learn a lot from Palestine Media Watch." -- Ahron Shapiro, The Jerusalem Post