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Extra! Extra! Berkeley Daily Planet Changes Name to Berkeley Daily Palestinian

Well, almost.

In a separate exposé, we previously documented the shocking preponderance of references to Palestine in the Berkeley Daily Planet relative to other closely comparable world trouble spots.  For example, if you compare the relative frequency of two other ethnic homelands that are also shrouded in years long bloody conflicts, and yet to be officially carved out separate countries, Kashmir and Kurdistan, there are only 61 and 18 hits respectively in the Berkeley Daily Planet’s search engine.  This compares to a massive 1,580 hits for Palestine.  The total number of civilian casualties in the ongoing Kashmir (65,000-100,000) and Kurdistan (death toll approaching 40,000) conflicts dwarf the number of those killed in Palestine in the past forty years of occupation and conflict (less than 5,000). 

In this analysis, we compare the frequency of the term “Palestine” in 10 local and community newspapers in Northern California, including paid circulation dailies and free weeklies.  Surely, if Palestine is of some magical import to Bay Area residents, then other Bay Area newspapers must also reflect this concern.  The figures listed below represent the total number of search engine hits for the term “Palestine” from the online archives of various newspapers going back to 2000 or 2001 (comparable in time frame to the Planet’s search engine).  Even this gives the Berkeley Daily Planet the benefit of all doubt, since, although its search engine goes back to 2000, the O’Malley’s only took over the paper’s publication in April, 2003.  Prior to that, the Daily Planet took no interest in Palestine.

Newspaper   "Palestine" hits in online archive   Est. Circulation
Berkeley Daily Planet



Oakland Tribune



Contra Costa Time



Santa Rosa Press Democrat



Modesto Bee



San Francisco Weekly



Marin Independant Journal



Monterey County Herald



East Bay Express



Alameda Sun



*Since 2006        

The combined total hits for “Palestine” in all nine other newspapers (1313) is less than the Planet by itself (1,580)!  Indeed, the Planet alone accounts for 55% of all the search results for “Palestine” in our survey (see accompanying chart).

The data above relies on a search of the Daily Planet’s website conducted on August 7, 2009 by contributor P. Gordis, and verified at that time by DPWatchDog.  The 1580 hits were completely in line with the 1460 hits we received for “Palestine” in February 2009, allowing for natural growth. However, a new search conducted on August 24 reveals only 1010 hits.  At this writing, we have no idea why the Daily Planet’s “Palestine” hits have suddenly gone down. We welcome reader input on this point.


Moreover, even in papers which directly overlap the Planet’s main distribution area and which might be expected to mirror the same concerns of its readership (if the preoccupation with Israel/Palestine is, in fact, indigenous to the East Bay, rather than being manufactured by the O’Malley’s), such as the free weekly East Bay Express, the total hits for the term “Palestine” are only 78 or about 5% that of the Berkeley Daily Planet.  Indeed, the free San Francisco Weekly, which largely mirrors the far left orientation of the Berkeley Daily Planet, only musters 101 references, equal to 6.3% of the Planet’s all consuming obsession with Palestine.

Perhaps the most damning comparison of all is to compare the total online archive search hits for “Palestine” in the Los Angeles Times back to April 1, 2003 with the Berkeley Daily Planet (this is the date the O’Malley’s began publishing).  The Los Angeles Times registers 1,109 hits for “Palestine” compared with the Planet’s 1,580.   Consider that the LA Times is the largest circulation daily west of the Mississippi, serving a metropolitan area with over 13 million residents and with an estimated circulation in the range of 1,000,000.  The LA Times which is well known for its keen interest in all matters related to Israel and Palestine, has extensive international news coverage and dedicated foreign correspondents on site throughout the Middle East.  Nevertheless, the Berkeley Daily Planet with only one-seventh the number of issues (daily versus weekly), an estimated print run 19,000, and is a mere 28 pages long manages to exceed the frequency of references to Palestine found in the entire daily LA

Times over the span of six and a half years. 

The Los Angeles Times registers 1,109 hits for “Palestine” compared with the Planet’s 1,580

Los Angeles Times 1109
Berkeley Daily Planet 1580
Los Angeles Times 0.468724
Berkeley Daily Planet 3.116371





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