Counting Crowds Confounds Correspondents

How many Gaza demonstrators risked Hamas thuggery yesterday to demand national unity? Depends on who you read. Counting crowds confounds correspondents. The Guardian’s divergence alone boggles:

  1. The Guardian: “Estimates of the turnout in Gaza City ranged from 10,000 to 100,000.”
  2. Time: ” Some 10,000 protesters were reported in the streets of Gaza City . . .”
  3. Toronto Star: “There were an estimated 2,000 demonstrators, many of them Palestinian civil servants who were given time off to attend the demonstration.”

Crowd size matters if you want to draw conclusions about popular support, especially when there’s a counter-demonstration (which was the case here).

Come to think of it, casualty counts confounds correspondents too.


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