Mideast Report: July — Sept., 2013
Former foreign editor John Felton conducts quarterly, independent, reviews of NPR's Israeli-Palestinian coverage. His third-quarter 2013 report is now available online.
Felton reviewed the 46 radio stories, interviews and other reports that aired on NPR's daily radio shows from April through June, as well as 25 blogs, news stories and other reports carried exclusively on NPR's website.
In his review, Felton focused on coverage of two topics: the resumption of peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians, and regional aspects of the civil war in Syria — particularly the reports that Syrian forces used chemical weapons against rebel-held areas in August.
NPR journalists had some difficulty putting the start of the peace talks into historical context, but otherwise the coverage of this perennial issue was adequate. NPR also gave fair and reasonably detailed coverage to the Syria story, including Israel's somewhat ambivalent response to President Obama's talk of a military strike against Syria.
John Felton prepares the quarterly evaluations. He has covered international affairs and U.S. foreign policy for 35 years. His book, The Contemporary Middle East: A Documentary History, was published by CQ Press in 2007. A former foreign affairs reporter for Congressional Quarterly and foreign editor at NPR, he has been a freelance writer and editor since 1995.