The things the media does

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27 December 2011

Three new (at least to me) things to check out

Over the lifetime of this blog I have frequently been highly critical of the BBC bias and recommend highly the Biased BBC blog.
I have been less critical of the Guardian bias (because I so rarely read it) but nevertheless recommend the CiF Watch blog.
Now I’m delighted to note that Reuters, so often noted for fauxtography, repeating unchecked Palestinian claims as fact and yes, bias has a blog devoted to it as well: Reuters Middle East Watch.  Definitely worth keeping an eye on it.

RMEW* exposes errors, bias, and propaganda in Reuters Middle East Reporting. It is not a “blog” as such but rather an open, public,evidentiary database documenting Reuters’ violations of its own Trust PrinciplesHandbook, and generally accepted standards of professional journalism.

The next two recommendations are not media specific but concern the retelling of stories, over-and-over again. This isn’t a charge of plagiarism although that happens nor the ubiquitous filling in space with background straight from Wikipedia. It relates to repeating stories one year to the next. How often can shed a tear for the last Christian shepherd?  Why does it sound so familiar? Perhaps In Bethlehem, shepherds watching their flocks by night are a dying breed from 2010 gives a clue?

So join and follow Reporters against whiny christmas stories in Bethlehem on Facebook where some quite familiar names step up to refuse to parrot the same mantras masquerading as news.

A rebel group of Jerusalem-based reporters has reacted to the decade-long tradition of Bethlehem holiday stories by refusing to accept any holiday cheer this season. 
Refusing editors’ requests for “Christmas in the holy land” tales of Palestinian woe and tourist shows, the group has announced it will refrain from filing any articles until an actual news event occurs. 
“We are doing this for the good of our readers. Who, if they have any memory whatsoever, will recall that we have written the exact same Bethlehem story for the past four years,” said a spokesman for the group. He continued that the decision was also financial, hoping to save the dying newspaper industry the cost of commissioning a new piece when they could just rewrite the previous versions.
One journalist, who asked to remain anonymous, said the rebel group was trying to quell more extreme elements who called for a torching of all olive-wood products made in Bethlehem, and the expelling of shopkeepers who whined excessively.

Finally and not unrelated. It’s not just text that gets recycled. It’s also photographs. Watch Video documents photojournalism ‘machine’s’ coverage of East Jerusalem and West Bank below. Among other things it confirms my opinion that at least part of the reason Israel/Palestine is so obsessively covered is the ease that journalists can pretend to be covering wars with very little real danger or inconvenience that might come from real combat photography.

After, watch and compare Never mind journalistic honesty or integrity, just a palliwood-style journalism, by Ruben Salvadori.

Incidentally, Illia Yefimovich from the embedded video is also the photographer who captured the famous stone thrower knocked over by car shot. I blogged about it in Set-up,stoned and skittled. With what you have seen here, what version do you believe: photgrapher just happening to be on the spot or photographer arranging a ‘scene’ that will sell?

To read: Season’s Greetings From the Israel Bashers

About David Guy

B.A./B.C.A. (Communication and Media Arts) University of Wollongong, AUSTRALIA M.A. in Government (Diplomacy and Conflict Studies) Inter Disciplinary Center, Herzliya, ISRAEL Twitter @5MFI
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