Saturday 24 November 2012

Confused about the Israeli/Palestinian conflict? This might help

Earlier this week, one of my friends in the office at work asked me what my thoughts were on the latest troubles between Israel and Gaza.

I sighed, before trying to explain to him that I really wasn't that bothered or interested anymore with what's going on in Israel.

Any news story about the conflict just seems like Groundhog Day to me. It's like you're watching and hearing the same story over and over again.

I immediately felt guilty as it's clearly important news and innocent people are being killed and injured - but I'm sorry to say I feel fatigued by it all.

When you do watch news coverage of events, you start asking yourself 'Why are they fighting again? can someone please remind me.'

With that in mind, another friend from work forwarded me this link to a piece on the Washington Post's website, titled:

9 Questions about Israel-Gaza you were too embarrassed to ask

It's like an idiots guide to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. You may laugh at that description, but it does a great job in breaking things down and explaining the issues and history in a straight forward, simple way without dumbing things down.

I found it useful, but it got me thinking. When a news geek like me gets bored by major news stories, how does journalism keep people's attention on stories where there never seems to be a clear end?

It's tough to answer. There are so many interesting and important stories happening around the world; stories we rarely hear about in this country. Instead our news agenda is limited to certain key stories that dominate like Israel.

I'm not saying this is wrong, but it becomes a challenge to keep people interested, while you remind and explain to them why the story matters.

What do you think? Are there certain stories you feel are overplayed in the media?

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