Saturday, March 20, 2004

Media Bias

In searching for remote speakers and megaphones, I somehow stumbled on Honest Reporting, a website that tracks media pro-palestinian bias. Reuters got the 2003 Dishonest Reporting award, with AP a close runner-up.

Also of interest was What is Bias, which includes this list:

Here are the "7 Violations of Media Objectivity":

1. Misleading definitions and terminology.
2. Imbalanced reporting.
3. Opinions disguised as news.
4. Lack of context.
5. Selective omission.
6. Using true facts to draw false conclusions.
7. Distortion of facts.

Discussion of about half the above follows, including this particularly damning example from (surprise!) the New York Times.

EXAMPLE: The New York Times subtly altered its reference to the Temple Mount, which unbiased historians have always acknowledged was the site of two Holy Jewish Temples. In apparent deference to Palestinian leaders who claim that no Jewish Temple ever stood on the Jerusalem hill toward which Jews have prayed for millennia, The Times began appending the phrase to include "which the Arabs call the Haram al Sharif."

Then, a few weeks later, The Times referred to "the Temple Mount, which Israel claims to have been the site of the First and Second Temple." It was no longer established historical fact -- but a mere "claim." Then, in a subsequent article, The Times described Israeli troops as having "stormed the Haram, holiest Muslim site in Jerusalem, where hundreds of people were at worship." No mention whatsoever of its status as the "Temple Mount" or the single holiest Jewish site.

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