Remember the recent spat about how Ethan Bronner, the top NYT fellow in Israel and Palestine, must or must not be removed since his son has joined the IDF?
Today he's got an article about the development plans our mayor, Nir Barket, is trying to implement in a corner of East Jerusalem you've never heard of, al-Bustan. So far as I can see, Bronner's report is what's called balanced. He talked to the mayor, he talked to some Palestinian residents who will be affected if the plan goes through, he doesn't state an opinion of his own and so far as I can see, he doesn't imply one, either. Here's an issue; here's what one side says, here's what the other side says. I report, you decide.
There's only one problem: since you've never heard of al-Bustan before, you come away from this report with exactly no more understanding than before you read it. If you don't believe me, here's an intellectual exercise: Pretend you can be beamed over to this al-Bustan place, along with a group of intelligent folks who know nothing about the matter, and while standing in the middle of it you've got to explain to them what's going on, and answer their follow-up questions. You won't be able to, will you. Of course not.
That's professional journalism for you.