Founded in 1982, the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America is a media-monitoring, research and membership organization devoted to promoting accurate and balanced coverage of Israel and the Middle East. CAMERA fosters rigorous reporting, while educating news consumers about Middle East issues and the role of the media. Because public opinion ultimately shapes public policy, distorted news coverage that misleads the public can be detrimental to sound policymaking. A non-partisan organization, CAMERA takes no position with regard to American or Israeli political issues or with regard to ultimate solutions to the Arab-Israeli conflict.
The scope of the problem
Inaccurate and distorted accounts of events in Israel and the Middle East are to be found everywhere from college radio stations to network television, from community newspapers to national magazines, and, of course, on the Internet. In recent years misinformation about the Middle East has also surfaced in fashion magazines, architectural publications, encyclopedias, professional reference works, geography textbooks, travel guides, and even dictionaries. Frequently inaccurate and skewed characterizations of Israel and of events in the Middle East may fuel anti-Israel and anti-Jewish prejudice.
How CAMERA works
CAMERA systematically monitors, documents, reviews and archives Middle East coverage. Staffers directly contact reporters, editors, producers and publishers concerning distorted or inaccurate coverage, offering factual information to refute errors. CAMERA members are encouraged to write letters for publication in the print media and to communicate with correspondents, anchors and network officials in the electronic media. CAMERA’s combination of rigorous monitoring, research, fact-checking, careful analysis, and grassroots efforts have had a documented impact.
How the public is kept informed
- Members receive periodic mailings, magazines and monographs detailing key media issues.
- Members of CAMERA’s e-mail team receive frequent Action Alerts and information.
- Frequent articles on this website and on CAMERA’s blog, Snapshots.
- CAMERA’s Facebook page: www.facebook.com/CAMERAorg
- CAMERA’s Twitter feed: www.twitter.com/CAMERAorg
In addition, CAMERA staffers regularly assist members seeking specific information.
CAMERA’s work is frequently cited in the secular and Jewish press and in journalism reviews.
CAMERA on college campuses
Increasingly, campuses have been the scene of propagandistic assaults on Israel. Distorted literature, extreme speakers and false, inflammatory images are all too common, creating harmful misperceptions of Israel. This hostile environment can be intimidating to students seeking fair and objective information on Middle East issues.
CAMERA’s campus website, Camera on Campus, and its affiliated blog, In Focus, give students access to specialized information useful in countering misinformation. CAMERA also provides one-on-one assistance to students who encounter Middle East distortions in campus publications, flyers, rallies and classroom teaching.
CAMERA engages with the media internationally through its affiliates UK Media Watch, BBC Watch, Presspectiva, and Revista de Medio Oriente.
What people are saying about CAMERA
“Media misrepresentation of events in the Middle East poses an immediate danger to Israel’s security … and the only way to curb such reporting abuses is to shine the spotlight of public attention on them. CAMERA has the courage to effectively challenge the media to step up to its responsibility to report fairly and accurately.”
– Congressman Tom Lantos
“We all know that CAMERA’s mission is important not only for the Jewish community, but also for the integrity and vitality of American democracy. It is not just on one occasion that I wished there were an Israeli branch of CAMERA.”
– Democracy activist and former Knesset member Natan Sharansky
“The answer to false speech is not censorship but more true speech. The answer to half-truth is full-truth. The only people who should and do fear CAMERA are those who should and do fear the truth. … [T]he First Amendment was not erected to help the media but to help the people.”
– Harvard law professor and civil libertarian Alan Dershowitz
“There is … one source you can rely on when it comes to keeping track of news stories on the Middle East — CAMERA — Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America.”
– Mayor Ed Koch
“Thanks to CAMERA, and now the Toronto Star’s feature about the [purported Moshe Ya’alon] quote, we know it’s fake.”
– Columbia Journalism Review columnist and media critic Craig Silverman
“The Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA) provides in-depth analyses of selected media pieces to expose and correct falsehoods and to educate editors and journalists to prevent such shoddy reporting in the first place.”
– U.S. delegate to the OSCE Conference on Anti-Semitism and Other Forms of Intolerance Sander Berger
“It is not the sort of problem that can be fixed with broad brush strokes, but rather is a situation in which the worth of organizations like the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America is apparent.”
– Former Boston Globe Correspondent Charles A. Radin