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Media Analyses





CAMERA Prompts Ha'aretz Corrections on Ethiopians' Contraception


Months after CAMERA's Israel office prompted Ha'aretz to publish corrections of coverage concerning Depo Provera contraception injections among Ethiopian women, the media watch organization last week set off another round of corrections at the influential Israeli news outlet.
 
Last week we flagged an end of the year round up by Ha'aretz's Mairav Zonszein, "Most Read Stories of 2013," which inaccurately quoted a directive sent out by Health Ministry director-general Prof. Roni Gamzu's to health-maintenance organizations concerning the use of the drug. The round up stated:
 
 
But as we earlier noted, this truncated version of Prof. Gamzu's directive cut out his key statement that the ministry does not confirm any allegations surrounding the scandal, as well as the fact that his directive applies to women of all ethnic origins. As reported in the Hebrew version of the same Jan. 27, 2013 article, and again in Ha'aretz's Feb. 28, 2013 Hebrew (but not English) article on the controversy, Gamzu actually wrote (CAMERA's translation):
"Without taking a stand or determining facts about allegations that were made," Gamzu wrote, "I would like to instruct, from now on, all gynecologists in the HMOs not to renew prescriptions for Depo-Provero for women of Ethiopian -- or any other -- origin, if there is the slightest doubt that they have not understood the implications of the treatments." (Emphasis added on the key statements omitted by Zonszein).
CAMERA addressed this truncated quote last March, resulting in the following commendable March 7, 2013 correction in print and online:
 
 
Last week, CAMERA again contacted Ha'aretz editors to address the misquotation, this time appearing in the year-end round up, and as a result, they fixed the text. Zonszein's piece now states:
 
 
Unfortunately, in a slippage from recent practice, Ha'aretz this time failed to append a correction to the end of the article. Instead, a note at the article unhelpfully states: "This article has been updated."
 
Likewise, in response to CAMERA's request, Ha'aretz corrected the text in the online Jan. 27, 2013 article, the news outlet's first article on the Ethiopian contraception article, and the one on which Zonszein's article was based. It had originally reported:

A government official has for the first time acknowledged the practice of injecting women of Ethiopian origin with the long-acting contraceptive Depo-Provera.

Health Ministry Director General Prof. Ron Gamzu has instructed the four health maintenance organizations to stop the practice as a matter of course.

The ministry and other state agencies had previously denied knowledge or responsibility for the practice, which was first reported five years ago.

Gamzu’s letter instructs all gynecologists in the HMOs "not to renew prescriptions for Depo-Provera for women of Ethiopian origin if for any reason there is concern that they might not understand the ramifications of the treatment.”

The amended text now states:
 
 
Contrary to standard journalistic practice, and to Ha'aretz's own recent practice, editors did not publish a correction at the bottom of the article noting the change.
 
For additional Ha'aretz corrections prompted by CAMERA and our Hebrew affiliate, Presspectiva, please see here. See here for this article in Hebrew.

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