Why so many pictures of Palestinians?

Question: I asked a couple other people because I didn't trust my own observation and they agreed that It certainly seems like your paper prints far more pictures of dead and injured Palestinians, than it does of Israelis. I'm not pro- or anti- anything, but it appears your paper would like its readers to be. -- Doris Gerhart, Spokane Valley

Answer: I haven't gone back to chart our use of pictures to determine body-count-by-ideology or ethnicity. If there is an imbalance, it's due to the nature and timing of news and not due to any particular bias on our part.

Terrorist activities tend to happen off the West Coast news cycle while Israeli responses tend to happen during the news cycle and closer to our actual deadliness. So stories and photos dealing with Israeli responses tend to be fresher and newsier and more timely than terrorist stories and photos that will be more than a day old when they appear in our paper. We have similar timing issues with Iraq.

Further, Israeli responses tend to be better covered because press coverage of military operations, while controled, is permitted. Press coverage of surprise terrorist attacks is going to be spottier.

But, in the end, the problems of the Middle East are too complicated to be boiled down to a debate over Page 1 body counts. -- Steve Smith, editor

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