How the “CNN Effect” Shapes Foreign Policy

By Lindsay Heizman

“Israel Shoots Palestinians; Deadly Attack on Jerusalem Mosque” cover the news screens across America following a synagogue bloodbath. Consistent anti-Israel media outlets work to refute Israel’s integrity, having endangered thousands of European citizens already. CNN comes under fire for a pre-mature article published back in November of 2014 regarding Jerusalem’s synagogue massacre. One article boldly stated, “Israel Shoots Palestinians.” This reversal of victim and killer constitutes your standard biased journalism.

The problem being addressed here are the lies and claims people tend to believe involving Israel and self-defense. CNN’s headline infers guilt on the Jews, whereas the truth identifies the two Palestinians as the gun-toting killers. The following day, bloggers took to the internet to blast CNN and surface their reporting errors. The backlash was momentous, with CNN scrambling to revise their accusations and organizations like AIPAC.  This global news site confirmed Jews around the world that the paranoia they’ve felt has been real and alive. While Hamas in Gaza praised the stabbing attack as “heroic,” it is in America our media depicted the massacre as the “Israeli Police Shot Dead Two Palestinian Civilians.” While this statement is technically true in result of the assault, there is not mention of the hate crime nor slaughter. Identifying the two Palestinians as the killers stirred various reaction; locally, the two killers were praised as martyrs, equally fueling resentment on both sides of the border.

In response to CNN’s negligence, Yossi Dagan, the head of media relations for the Samaria Regional Council, filed a formal complaint against CNN for equating the terrorists as victims and reporting predisposed views. CNN caused an uproar and much-needed debate over the influence and legality of false advertising to the public, which I might add is illegal in commercial television. CNN has left many worried and wondering: how much influence does a 24-hour news network really have on foreign policy? This inquiry, dubbed the CNN Effect, is the link between media power influence and foreign policy. Television rouses public opinion, stresses instant responses, and can consequently shape and rewrite foreign policy at the whim of a much-needed news story. The term CNN Effect came to be known as shorthand for the idea that mainstream news, not just CNN, have increased effects on foreign policy in the public eye. Today, despite the overshadowing conflicts in the Middle East, the issue of media role in terms of driving political responses remains a sizable concern.

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In conclusion, the process of resolution takes time and needs Congressional fixings; I suppose a law forbidding falsified, prejudiced headlines would have immediate public effect, initiating the transition – from cash and business into old-fashioned journalism. What our country needs now more than ever is to revert to the dawn of the media, and strive to make respectable and legitimate headlines, instead of selling out for a pay roll. The whole world could use this modification, allowing all individuals the freedom of information, and ability to self-educate.

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About the author:

Lindsay HeimanHello, my name is Lindsay Heizman. I am a recent graduate of the University of Miami, with a degree in Motion Picture Screenwriting, with an emphasis on television. Moving to LA was a no brainer, and I hit the ground running. I transformed my entire bedroom into an amateur DIY Writer’s Room—white board, notecards, snacks, and all.

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