Celebrating Your Success

Dear Honest Reporting Member,

Every once in a while it comes time to pat yourself on the back and appreciate your success in influencing the media to temper its pro-Palestinian stance.

Below we present 3 examples, amongst the many hundreds that HonestReporting members have shared with us.

HonestReporting membership is growing daily, but we are still short of our goal of 25,000 members. HonestReporting is a good, easy way to get your friends and family — who may not be so involved in Israel affairs — to make their own commitment to a safe and secure Israel.

These people will not be automatically subscribed. Rather, they will receive an e-mail introducing them to HonestReporting, with an invitation to subscribe.

Thank you for your ongoing involvement in the battle against media bias. Israel needs your support now more than ever, and your efforts really do make a difference.


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    On April 26, 2001, HonestReporting issued a communique entitled, “Can CNN Keep a Straight Face?” We questioned CNN’s biased reporting of major Middle East issues like territories, refugees, and the cause of the violence.

    HonestReporting member John Wolberg complained to CNN, and received the following reply from Eason Jordan, CNN’s chief of international newsgathering:

    From: “Jordan, Eason” (Eason.Jordan@turner.com)

    Dear Mr. Wolberg:

    The CNN.com report to which you refer contained factual errors, errors in omission, and inadequate context, and has been corrected.

    Shortcomings in reporting are no more acceptable to me than they should be to consumers of news reporting. My colleagues and I may be imperfect but we most certainly are not anti-Jewish or anti-Israeli. The vast majority of CNN’s Mideast reporting is as we intend all of CNN’s reporting to be: accurate, balanced, fair and responsible.

    Thank you for your note.

    “Factual errors… errors in omission… inadequate context.” This represents a remarkable admission on the part of CNN! To HonestReporting member John Wolberg and the thousands of others who wrote to CNN: Stand up and applaud your efforts!

    * * *


    After months of referring to the Jerusalem neighborhood of Gilo as a “settlement,” major media outlets are apparently responding to criticism, and have recently begun recently to Gilo, properly, as a “neighborhood.”

    Last week, The New York Times’ Deborah Sontag wrote: “And, in a familiar pattern on the edge of Jerusalem, Palestinian gunmen once again fired on the Gilo neighborhood, and Israeli troops returned fire.”

    And Washington Post’s Lee Hockstader wrote: “Palestinians were also reported to have fired on the Jewish neighborhood of Gilo, constructed on Jerusalem’s southern fringe…”

    There are many other biased terminologies that the world media needs to correct: “illegal” settlements, “hard-liner” Ariel Sharon, Palestinian “militants,” gunfire “broke out,” and referring to the refer to the Temple Mount only as “Haram al Sharif, the third-holiest Moslem site.”

    Keep up the pressure and we will continue to see positive changes.

    * * *


    On May 17, HonestReporting member Michael Zidile wrote to BBC with the following complaint:

    “In the article entitled ‘Sharon’s New Tactics’ (May 17, 2001), BBC correspondent Jonathan Marcus peppers this purported “news” article with opinion and conjecture. Be it true or not, such conjecture displays expression of comment and violates the most basic journalistic ethic.” [End quote]

    The BBC’s replied as follows:

    “Thank you for your email. This article was an analysis piece, written by our Defence Correspondent, not a news story. It therefore reflected his views and opinions on the situation.” [End quote]

    Michael later checked the BBC website again, to find that the headline on the article had been changed to: “ANALYSIS: Sharon’s New Tactics.” BBC apparently realized their mistake, and added the word, “Analysis.”

    Michael then wrote BBC back and asked for an explanation. Here’s how they replied:

    “Thank you for your response. The article in question was an analysis piece from the outset — we often, but not always, signal this fact in the headline of such pieces. In the light of your e-mail we thought there might be scope for confusion so amended the headline to make it clearer. We do not regard this as an error. We publish a large number of analysis pieces from our correspondents — these make up an important part of our coverage and invariably contain the correspondents’ views and opinions.” [End quote]

    Michael then replied to the BBC editor:

    “Thank you for your reply. I shall reiterate my request to remove all ‘analysis’ pieces from the ‘News’ area on your website and place them in a specific ‘Analysis’ area. This would greatly reduce the amount of potential confusion. This is commonplace in all respectable news organizations (like the New York Times and Washington Post, who have separate editorial sections) and should be the case with the BBC’s online newspaper as well.” [End quote]

    HonestReporting salutes Michael for his persistence in getting BBC to admit the truth. This is an excellent example of how personal, one-to-one contact can effect genuine change. Keep up the good work!