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« Reports of Email's Death Appear to Be Exaggerated | Main | Big Media Warning Labels »

Sunday, August 15 2010

Palestinian Journos Test Big Media's Double Standards

Veteran journalist Khaled Abu Toameh laments Big Media's lack of interest in a story about the PA arresting several university lecturers. Unable to report the story themselves for fear of retribution, they offered the story to several North American and European correspondents and editors with more protekzia.

Nothing doing.

Only one foreign journalist agreed to write about the story. His colleagues gave different excuses for turning their backs on the story.

Some said they were concerned about their personal safety should they report a news item that was likely to anger the Western-funded PA security forces in the West Bank.

Others simply blamed their editors in New York, Paris, London and Toronto for turning down the story as "insignificant."

The kicker: One of Toameh's frustrated Palestinian colleagues tested the same reporters and editors with a "different" story:

The Palestinian journalist proposed that the foreign press write about a Palestinian university professor who complained that Israeli authorities had turned down his request to visit Israel together with his wife and three children.

The response from the international journalists came almost instantly. All but two said it was a "great story" and expressed readiness to start working on it immediately.

Toameh was brave enough to report and follow up on the story himself. So he's certainly qualified to conclude:

But for those Western journalists who justify their actions -- or, rather, inaction -- by citing security concerns, the answer is should be: If you are scared, why don't you stop writing about the conflict and start reporting about the weather or environment?

The Middle East is not the right place for journalists who care more about their well-being than the facts and the truth.



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They declared war on Israel and Jews around the world and we have full rights to exterminate them, as our fathers exterminated Nazis.

I think there is a fine but very distinct line between a journalist and a reporter.

A reporter is obliged to report what he or she sees honestly and without embellishment. There are, unfortunately, very few reporters these days.

A journalist is keeping a journal, a diary if you wish. It is merely his or her biased interpretation of the facts. Truth is not a journalist's mandate. Most writers for the current news media are journalists not reporters. One must take their stories with a large shaker full of salt.

Journalists are a very large step below reporters. A step as large as the difference between fact and fiction.

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