Friday, August 13, 2010

Do Journalists Have A "Great Pub" in the Sky?

It has often been said the journalists today are not interested in investigative journalism since their stories have to meet deadlines. Many times the stories are written to a pre determined agenda which bears no relation to reality.

This is clearly evident when a person's actual experiences in Israel are written about and many self styled "experts" cannot accept the version as it conflicts with their agenda and thus, they resort to name bashing and hysterical outbursts.

Michael Totten is a reader-funded foreign correspondent and foreign policy analyst who has reported from the Middle East, the Balkans, and the Caucasus. He is now in Israel after a stint in Lebanon and reported on a meeting he had over coffee.

The whole interview can be read at but what is important is that when he asked his Israeli companion what’s it like to read about Israel in the foreign press? The reply was "Surreal".

When asked to expand on this comment, the respondent replied that "It rarely bears any resemblance to the country I live in, mainly because it either deals only with the conflict or because the news is produced by people who live in the English-speaking Jerusalem bubble."

"There’s a large population of English speakers in Jerusalem. The people who speak English tend to gather around each other, especially if they’re in the higher reaches of government or the media. They tend to hang out with other English-speaking people. They go to the places where such people congregate, they read English-language newspapers, and they watch English-language television. They have very little contact with the rest of Israel, which is predominantly Hebrew-speaking."

"Tel Aviv is quite cosmopolitan, but if you go to the development towns in the south or to the towns in the north and in the Galilee, there are Hebrew-speaking and Arabic-speaking populations there. Journalists have almost no contact with this world. What they portray as Israeli is a corner of a corner of a corner of this country."

"It is clear that journalists hang out with each other and with other foreigners. This affects their opinions, it affects their view of the world, and it affects how they write about it."

Even today we in Israel are suffering the effects of the Mohammad Al Dura case (the young boy "apparently shot" by Israeli soldiers. Yet 7 years after the event we know with absolute certainty that the young boy in the film was not killed and the body buried under the name of Mohammad Al Dura was NOT Mohammad Al Dura.

Thus we continue to suffer from the poor quality of reporting. A reader found THE SAME PICTURE with two different captions from TWO DIFFERENT locations. One picture was defined as "A Lebanese father holding his child" dated Dec 25th 2009 (taken from google images) It accompanies a poem called ‘A Soldier’s Christmas Poem ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas’

And the SAME photo (maybe his twin brother!!) in Iraq holding a "twin" child March 25th 2010 also taken from google images. Here the article with it is entitled ‘The Scent of weakness’ from True Journalism.
Sick, sick, sick. where are the true professionals? In the great pub in the sky?

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