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2014 Distinguished Master's Thesis Award Winner

Michael Neureiter, Master of Science in Political Science, earned EIU's top research honor for his master's thesis titled, Sources of Media Bias in Coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: The 2010 Gaza Flotilla Raid in German, British, & U.S. Newspapers.

Andrew McNitt, Ph.D., professor of political science, served as faculty mentor.

Thesis Abstractmichaelneureiter

This study examines (1) whether German, British, and U.S. media coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is biased, and (2) if such a bias exists, what its sources are. Applying Dave D’Alessio’s and Mike Allen’s framework for measuring media bias to a sample of 240 newspaper articles on the 2010 Gaza Flotilla Raid, we find that British and especially German newspapers exhibit a significant anti-Israel bias, whereas the results for the United States are mixed. Testing five explanations of media bias commonly mentioned in the relevant literature, we find that a newspaper’s political affiliation as well as a country’s public opinion, demographic make-up, and relationship with Israel explain the occurrence of media bias in coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict rather well, whereas national business interests do not. Moreover, our findings suggest the existence of a strong interplay between demographics, public opinion, foreign policy, and media bias.

Full thesis may be accessed at Booth Library's The Keep