*Yakubu Ozohu-Suleiman & Md. Sidin Ahmad Ishak
This study examines the relationship between viewers’ dependence on major international news media and their opinions on how core issues of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict could be resolved. The study is premised on the theoretical assumption that Media System Dependency (MSD) can be helpful as a means of evaluating the importance of particular media outlets in determining opinion and behaviour. The study utilises mixed content analysis and survey methods. The content analysis focuses on within-article salience to determine relative media emphasis on core issues of the conflict. The survey involved over 600 viewers of BBC World, Al-Jazeera English, CNN International and Press TV across Nigeria and Malaysia, and focuses on the viewers’ opinions on how to resolve core issues of the conflict. Results show that dependence on media sources predicted and explained significant proportions of the viewers’ opinions on how each core issues of the conflict, including the status of Hamas in the peace process could be resolved. No significant relationship was found between dependence on media sources and the viewers’ opinions on which of the core issues require the most urgent attention in resolving the conflict. In conclusion, media’s presence in the viewers’ opinions on how core issues of the Israeli- Palestinian conflict could be resolved was relative to the viewers’ dependence on the media sources, thus backing the theoretical assumption of MSD and the proposition that media are able to shape peace in Israel/Palestine by applying coverage to the structure of peace in the conflict.
Keywords: Conflict reporting, Israeli-Palestinian, Media System Dependency theory, peace reporting