The modern media coverage of war and conflict is a grim numbers game. As tensions escalate, so do the body counts. In Syria, Ukraine, Gaza and on other battlefields, the most visceral articulation of despair is a statistic: How many dead?
The fighting in Gaza, now in its second week, already has its own trove of casualty databases. The New York Times has kept a running tally of fatalities, and there are charts available to those who want to see all the deaths in the conflict since 2000 broken out by ethnic group, month and year. The Times put the death toll since July 8 at 556 Palestinians and 27 Israelis, as of Monday.
But those numbers — 556 and 27 — aren’t coming directly from the Times’ reporting on the ground. News organizations get their figures from the Palestinian Health Ministry and The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), who in turn get theirs from humanitarian groups. OCHA’s role in Gaza is more information conduit than data-gatherer — the group compiles initial reports from the media and human rights groups inside Gaza, cross-checking them in order to ensure their veracity.
Read more here: Latest Political Polls