THUMBS UP to “The World,” for its Nov. 20 news broadcast produced jointly by WGBH (a Boston public broadcasting affiliate), British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), and Public Radio International (PRI), which demonstrated that fair and accurate coverage of Israel on public radio is not an impossible standard. Aaron Schachter’s broadcast, which was aired by public radio stations around the United States, reported on the American Christian right and the movement’s support for Israel and for the Israelis living in settlement communities.
What was remarkable about this broadcast was that it was straight-forward and free of editorial comment, allowing the subjects to speak for themselves. It was a refreshing change from typical National Public Radio coverage of settlers, which is generally pejorative. Regardless of the political considerations–pro and con–of settlements, journalistic standards of objectivity require these subjects to be dealt with fairly and without partisan editorializing in news stories.
Commendably, Schachter managed to do so. In addition, the context that he provided not only touched on the tension between the Jewish minority surrounded by the Arab majority, but also included the ancient history of Hebron’s “The Tomb of the Patriarchs.”