Reuters: A News Agency that Will Not Call a Terrorist a Terrorist

(National Review) Tom Gross - When Reuters writes about Israeli acts of violence, Israel is emphasized as the first word, often without explaining that the "victim" may have been a gunman ("Israeli Troops Shoot Dead Palestinian in W. Bank"). By contrast, when Palestinians attack Israelis (almost always civilians), Reuters usually avoided naming the perpetrator ("New West Bank Shooting Mars Truce"). The world's news outlets rely heavily on Reuters and AP, which in turn rely on a network of local Palestinian "stringers." Virtually all breaking news (and much of the non-breaking news) on CNN, BBC, Fox, and other networks comes from these stringers, who are hired for speed, to save money (there is no need to pay drivers and translators), and for their local knowledge. But in many cases, in hiring them, their connections to Arafat's regime and Hamas count for more than their journalistic abilities. All too often the information they provide, and the supposed eyewitnesses they interview, are undependable. Yet American and international news outlets simply take their copy as fact. Thus, non-massacres become massacres, death tolls are exaggerated, and gunmen are written about as if they were civilians. As Ehud Ya'ari, Israeli television's foremost expert on Palestinian affairs, put it: "The vast majority of information of every type coming out of the area is being filtered through Palestinian eyes. Cameras are angled to show a tainted view of the Israeli army's actions and never focus on Palestinian gunmen. Written reports focus on the Palestinian version of events. And even those Palestinians who don't support the intifada dare not show or describe anything embarrassing to the PA, for fear they may provoke the wrath of Arafat's security forces."

2004-07-21 00:00:00

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