i sent an email to the ISM, via their contact page, asking for a response to my questionnaire from their British volunteers. i understand that they would be very busy, which is why i offered in return, a small fee of money, and my services to help out, either during easter, or the summer. i have previously contacted the ISM enquiring about their work in Palestine. I received a reply after about 3-4 weeks of sending the email, and so i’m hoping to get a response within around 2-3 more weeks! below is a link to a PDF file with the questionnaire, along with a short analysis of the questions i asked. these questions will also be evaluated once i receive the responses.
ISM Worker Questionnaire <- PDF TO QUESTIONNAIRE
evaluating the questionnaire itself, i would say that it is effective to an extent. it provides the british aid workers to give valuable responses to me, however, the validity of these response is questionable. this is because having been in palestine for a while, and seeing what they have seen, it could be difficult for them to remember and differentiate what it is they learned from the british media, and what they learned from international medias, as well as from first hand experience. having said that, if there was a huge difference, this would create the emotional response of being surprised, and they should be able to provide me with a usable response.
UK STUDENT QUESTIONNARE
The questions above, are to determine whether or not the UK’s population in well informed about the current state of palestine. this will give me a strong indication to the representation of palestine within the british media. unfortunately, there are other means of absorbing information, such as Facebook and Twitter, and therefor these results do not provide a 100% valid answer to how informed the british population, due to its media.
also, the target demographic for this questionnaire, is males and females, at university, aged between 18-24. this is not an accurate sample of Britain’s population, and therefor decreases the validity of the results.
however, the quantitive data can still be used as a slight indicator. if the results seem very informed, i can assume the representation of the palestinian situation, is fairly accurate by the british media, and vice versa.
Below, are the results from each question.
Have you seen or read any news about the Palestine and Israel Conflict?
although 21 out of the 22 student who responded, knew about the conflict, the majority answered incorrectly to each question.
the second question, is a debatable one, however it was very interesting to see the result. more people in this demographic believe that israel are the victims in this conflict. this cannot be pin pointed as a result of the british media, however it can be assumed that the media had some influence over the situation. this is because even on sites like facebook, you only recieve updates about the situation if you’ve already ‘liked’ a Middle eastern conflict page.
the third question shows a lot of british media influence on the response. terrorism has been at the forefront of british media, so much so, that it is now associated with islamic culture. this could be the reason for the results. the correct answer, was initially land.
the fourth graph could represent a british media coverage symptom, or could be because of the demographic of the recipients of the questionnaire. 5 years ago, they were all between 13-19, which makes sense, as only 10% of BBC world news viewers are under 18. this could be the explanation to why most recipients were unaware of conflict before this.
VisualDNA Audiences on YouTube. 2013. VisualDNA Audiences on YouTube. [ONLINE] Available at:http://audiences.visualdna.com/youtube/uk/brands/channels_uk/bbcworldnews. [Accessed 13 December 2013]
Finally, i asked a number of people the same question, and wrote the responses, in a tally format, collated below. the demographic for this question was the same, however the sample was much greater. i have removed the replies that were single anomalies, to be able to focus on replies given by more than one person. in total, there were 138 replies, from a total of 46 people.
“Please state 3 words or phrases that come to mind, when you hear of ‘Palestine’ ”
Middle East – 24
Africa – 16
Terrorist – 11
Israel – 8
War – 6
Blockade – 6
Bombs – 6
Beach – 3
Occupation – 3
Struggle – 3
when typed into google, the word palestine receives a number of news and current state information. however, the top three answers given to this question were middle east, africa, terrorist. two of which, have no significance to the news revolving the state. this to me, indicated a poorly informed sample of people, which can direct towards the possibility that not only is the representation of palestine by the british media not very accurate, but also, that there a lack of that representation.
unfortunately, because of the same drawback in the demographic target as the previous questionnaire, i cannot draw the above conclusion from the result. however, a more carefully thought out demographic, specifically aimed at those who follow the BBC or Channel 4 news, would provide me the validity to be able to draw that conclusion.