Tease the day: Israel and Gaza on the edge of escalation

What newspaper ledes might tell us about how the hostilities could evolve

by Nick Taylor-Vaisey

AP/Hatem Moussa

Read the first few words in any story about hostilities between Israeli forces and Hamas, and you learn a few things. If you read just the headline, or the first half of the first sentence in a few Canadian cover stories this morning, here’s what you’re told:

More than 25,000 Israeli ground forces are poised to invade the Gaza Strip [Ottawa Citizen], just as key players in the Middle East are gathering in Cairo this week in search of a (peace) agreement [Globe and Mail]. As Israel bombed Palestinian militant targets in the Gaza Strip for a fifth day [National Post], children are among the casualties [Toronto Star].

There’s so much more to each story, of course, and most papers have far more coverage inside their morning editions. But ledes do suggest what newspapers see as most important, and you won’t find much mention of Hamas firing rockets in those crucial first few words. What happened to coverage of those rocket attacks? Are Hamas’ attacks simply less effective than Israeli attacks and, by extension, unable to inflict headline-grabbing destruction? Does that illustrate just how lopsided this conflict could become, if it escalates further? Maybe that’s reading too much into the first few words of a few news stories, but read through the weekend papers, and you’ll see a similar trend. It’s worth watching as the situation continues to develop.


What’s above the fold this morning?

The Globe and Mail leads with efforts to create peace amid continued fighting between Israeli forces and Hamas in the Gaza Strip. The National Post fronts growing popular support for Hamas during the current conflict. The Toronto Star goes above the fold with the city school board’s plans to potentially sell off land beside playgrounds at 127 area schools. The Ottawa Citizen leads with accusations about who was to blame for a stage collapse during a music festival in 2011. iPolitics fronts a Diana Carney column about how to define inequality. National Newswatch showcases a Hill Times story about Elections Canada’s widespread consultations about improper communications—including “robocalls”—during the 2011 federal election.


Stories that will be (mostly) missed

1. Defence spending. Senator Colin Kenny says the government’s plan to build Arctic patrol boats for the Navy is misguided. He says destroyers that protect southern waters make more sense. 2. Russian embassy. Canadian diplomats in Moscow have “almost no protection” from terrorist attacks in the existing embassy. They’re slated to move into a new building in 2016.
3. Immigration distribution. Jason Kenney, the federal minister of immigration, came to a consensus with provincial ministers that will allow employers to fill gaps in regional employment. 4. CBC mandate. The CRTC is launching 10 days of hearings into the renewal of the CBC’s broadcasting licence. It all starts with a public hearing today in Gatineau, Que.




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Tease the day: Israel and Gaza on the edge of escalation

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