A Systematic Procedure for Detecting News Biases: The Case of Israel in European News Sites

Elad Segev, Regula Miesch


In this article, we present a systematic and structured procedure for sentiment analysis in the news, as well as a database of keywords that incorporate positive and negative opinions toward Israel in different languages. We then mine 14 large newspapers in five countries—the UK, France, Germany, Italy, and Switzerland—over a period of six months and rate their respective orientations. Unlike those of previous studies, our findings clearly show that news reports are largely critical and negative toward Israel, with British news being the most critical, Italian news the most sensational, and German, French and Swiss news relatively more neutral. Opinions featured in the news are not in line with public opinion as presented in annual surveys of each country. We conclude with a discussion of the implications of these findings.

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