Tuesday, December 16, 2003

DISHONEST REPORTING AWARD. Based, apparently, on coverage of Israel, Palestine, and the conflict between them. And the winner is . . . Reuters.

I don't know if I agree with all of the critiques contained in this piece but I found the following to be quite revealing of the news agency that can't seem to use the word "terrorist":
▪ In violent acts by Israelis, "Israel" was named in 100% of the headlines, and the verb was in the active voice in 100% of the headlines, i.e.:

"Israeli Troops Shoot Dead Palestinian in W. Bank" (July 3)

▪ But in violent acts by Palestinians, the Palestinian perpetrator was named in just 33% of the headlines, and the verb was generally in the passive voice, i.e.:

"Bus Blows Up in Central Jerusalem" (June 11)

That is, in the world of Reuters headlines, when Israel acts, Israel is always perpetrating an active assault and the Palestinian victim is consistently identified. But when Palestinian terrorists act, the event just "happens" and Israeli victims are left faceless.

UPDATE: On the other hand, even Reuters is more subtle than this.

UPDATE II: More media bias at CNN? After a while, evaluations of media bias seem to become little more than ink blot tests. We can all find what we want to find.

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