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February 03, 1989 - Image 38

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1989-02-03

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

(NEWS)

OAKLAND INTERNISTS ASSOCIATES

is pleased to announce that its

main office has moved to

28625 Northwestern Highway (just south of 12 Mile Road)

Ohio Study On Bias:
Eyes 'Nearsighted'?

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ARTHUR J. MAGIDA

Special to The Jewish News

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Oakland Internists Associates is
affiliated with Sinai Health Services

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he perception of bias —
especially, journalistic
bias — is determined
by the eye of the beholder.
Few people, though, are clear
on just how such perception
works. To help clear up this
mystery, Richard Perloff, a
Cleveland State University
communications professor,
recently conducted a series of
experiments. His results were
reported in a speech at the
Central States Speech Asso-
ciation.
Perloff tested the reactions
of 102 students to a 13-min-
ute videotape assembled from
CBS, ABC and NBC news
footage of the 1982 war in
Lebanon. On Perloff's tape,
equal time was given to
stories portraying Israel and
the PLO as victims and
aggressors.
The students, who were
drawn from six Ohio univer-
sities and not told about the
purpose of the experiment,
were divided into three
groups: pro-Palestinian, pro-
Israeli, and "reasonably im-
partial."
The reactions of each group
to the videotape differed
significantly. Israel partisans
believed that coverage was
biased and favorably tilted
toward the PLO. They per-
ceived 61 percent of the tape's
references to Israel as un-
favorably portraying that
country. Palestinian par-
tisans believed just the op-
posite. They saw 73 percent of
the references to the PLO as
unfriendly to their cause.
And the unbiased group
reported that 56 percent of
references were anti-PLO,
and 49 percent were
anti-Israel.
Perloff reported that view-
ing the videotape produced no
significant differences in at-
titudes toward Israel or the
PLO, toward Arab or Jews, or
in perceptions of Israel or
Palestinians as victim or ag-
gressor. What was significant
to him was that, more than
any specific facts, students
tended to remember incidents
of violence without remem-
bering the instigator.
In the Columbia Jour-
nalism Review, managing
editor Gloria Cooper asked,
"What are journalists to
make of Perloff's report?
Some no doubt will use the
data irresponsibly, waving
away any and all complaints
of unfair coverage on the
ground that partisan critics

have been shown scientifical-
ly to be less than reliable
witnesses.
"Others, among them the
nation's newspaper ombuds-
men, many of whom have
already devoted columns to
Perloffs study, will want to
instruct their audiences in
the documented vagaries of
social psychology, and in the
tolerances for differing
perceptions that his findings
suggest."
"But the best, one expects,
will work harder than ever to
insure that if and when
media bias is charged, a
neutral observer would
respectfully, but unequivocal-
ly, disagree."

Are They
Dating Yet?

"Arafat Appeals To Bush"
— Headline in The Charlotte,
N.C., Observer, 11/13/88.

New Measures
Against Intifada
Draw Questions

More stringent methods to
punish stone-throwers in the
Palestinian intifada in the
West Bank and Gaza recent-
ly adopted by the Israeli army
may backfire, warned a col-
umnist in the Israeli
newspaper, Yediot Ahronot.
The new measures include
new rubber bullets that can
be shot from longer distances
and shooting plastic bullets
at anyone who seems to in-
tend to place a stone bar-
ricade or tires on the road.
"The implementation of the
anti-stone policy," wrote Ron-
ny Shaked, "signifies a strug-
gle against every young per-
son, child, woman or girl or
even village elder in the ter-
ritories. This is because the
stone in the territories is not
only the weapon of the in-
tifada, but has become its
symbol."
"The real danger," Shaked
said, "is that as the new
measures of punishment and
suppression reveal them-
selves to be efficient, they are
liable to push groups in the
territories to seek a radical
and violent expression for
themselves."
Shaked fears that these
new forms of protest are "like-
ly to be more dangerous for
solders and citizens than the
stones that the Defense Min-
ister is now seeking to com-
bat."
And while the Israeli news-
paper Ma'ariv questioned in
an editorial whether the more

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