In a remarkable series of articles in late May, Geneva Overholser, the outgoing Ombudsman at the Washington Post and formerly the editor of a major Midwest newspaper, offered her observations about the state of journalism generally and conditions at the Post specifically.
Israel's 50th anniversary with its outpouring of media coverage has been a numbing reminder of journalism's herd instinct, the tendency of reporters to imitate one another, repeating the same themes and citing the same experts...
Comply with Oslo or face the consequences. That was the Israeli message to its Palestinian negotiating partner when it issued a detailed account of the Palestinian Authority's stunning failure to adhere to the landmark accords...
The recent terrorist bombing in Israel snuffed out the lives of 15 innocent people, maimed dozens more and spread fear in a vulnerable society. How did the Washington Post cover the attack and the political struggle that ensued? Passing speedily over the torn bodies of the bomb victims to focus a hostile eye on Israel was just the beginning.
June 5, 1997 marked thirty years since Israel won the Six Day War and the anniversary prompted a rash of news stories about a victory that brought the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem under Israeli control.
The herd impulse among members of the media, the aversion to deviating from views of other journalists, is especially pernicious in coverage of Israel where the guiding thesis today is a simple one: "Hardline" Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has disrupted, if not wrecked, an otherwise promising peace process in the Middle East.
If the New York Times botches its coverage of Israel, tipping reality upside down, making lesser occurrences into major stories and slighting deadly-serious events, what are the repercussions? Do senior editors carefully weigh substantive questions raised by concerned readers – or do they deflect criticism with evasions and insults?
Say this for Peter Jennings — he's unabashed in placing ABC at the disposal of the Arab agenda.
If it had only happened once that National Geographic published a photo-laden article on the Middle East espousing anti-Israel themes, its ten million subscribers could assume the piece was a regrettable aberration. But the venerable magazine has clearly fallen into a nasty pattern.
CNN's July 28th special, "Acts of Terror," presented in collaboration with Time magazine, should be studied in journalism schools. It is a guide to the ills of the profession, but above all to the menace of anti-Israel bias.