Monday, February 22, 2010

Journalism: Inventing a Story from Whole Cloth

Amira Hass has a story about how the Israeli authorities are building roads and roadblocks that will sever East Jerusalem from the West Bank. Set aside the matter that the evidence she offers doesn't lead to the conclusion, even if it were all true, she offers no demonstration of its truth. On the contrary. The entire article is based upon conjecture by Palestinians about Israeli actions. Only at the end of the item does Hass quickly tell that the few Israeli officials she has asked all deny the allegations; her answer to that is to wink and snicker: after all, we wouldn't want to believe Israeli officials, would we.

That's Amira Hass, and her audience will lap it up, as is their wont. What about the paper's editors, you ask? After all, if a government ministry (transportation or defense) or the municipality (Jerusalem) are engaged in spending public money on highly visible construction projects, you'd think a reporter for the country's (purportedly) best newspaper might be able to find some official record about what's going on; perhaps even insist upon it before publishing a story.

You'd be wrong.


Gavin said...

Do you have any laws or self-regulation of your media Yaacov? Is there any legal or ethical requirement to follow certain standards of journalism, any path by which you can complain about media behaviour?

Regards, Gavin

Anonymous said...

Maybe it's about time to make patriotism fashionable again?
and a lack thereof be frowned upon?
and if feminists get up in arms about PATriotism one could resort to "love of one's country".

A gut feeling of what is useful and what malignant criticism is alive and kicking in private relations, why not allow it back into the public sphere instead of respecting evil word twisters.

Barry Meislin said...

Amira Hass is a piece of work.

It's not for nothing that Hamas told her to get out of Gaza in November (or December) 2009, when they decided that they cease-fire (so called) was not going to be extended.

(She's worth a thousand Hamas soldiers.)

On the other hand, it's thanks to people like her (and her like-minded colleagues at "Haaretz") that Netanyahu is Prime Minister and Lieberman is Defense Minister. The voting public has finally begun to notice the extraordinary disconnect between "Haaretz" and reality.

Barry Meislin said...

That should be 2008.