FAIR’s study examined the January through June 2001 transcripts of NPR‘s four main news programs—Morning Edition, All Things Considered, Weekend Edition and Weekend All Things Considered—as found on the Nexis news database. To identify references to fatal Israeli and Palestinian attacks, FAIR searched for transcripts containing keywords such as death, died, killed, fatal, etc., as well as the words Israel, Israeli, Palestinian or Palestine.
In examining transcripts containing these keywords, FAIR eliminated false positives (e.g., “the death of the Middle East peace process”), identifying only those scripts containing at least one report of a specific fatal attack against Israelis or Palestinians within the time period.
FAIR then identified the victims of each reported fatal attack using the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem’s database of persons killed in the violence, which aims to be a comprehensive record. (NOTE: Two Palestinian civilians whose killings in the occupied territories were reported on NPR and in the international media failed to appear in B’Tselem’s database. In response to an inquiry from FAIR, B’Tselem agreed to look into the omission, but was unable to respond before press time. FAIR included the NPR reports of these deaths in the study despite their absence from B’Tselem’s list. Numbers from B’Tselem were adjusted accordingly.)
See Extra!: The Illusion of Balance: NPR‘s coverage of Mideast deaths doesn’t match reality By Seth Ackerman (November/December 2001)