HonestReporting’s Top Content of 2016

We had a busy year, with media critiques, news roundups, videos, graphics, social media posts, news literacy articles, and new foreign language content monitoring Brazilian and French media. As 2016 draws to a close, here’s a look back at the top 10 pieces of content that had our growing readership buzzing.

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1. Most-Read Media Critique

It wasn’t even close. MSNBC Blames Israel for Getting Shot by Terrorists was easily our most-read media critique.

In June, two Palestinians opened fire indiscriminately on diners in a coffee shop in Tel Aviv’s Sarona shopping mall. Four Israelis were killed and another seven were injured. MSNBC reporters Martin Fletcher and Ayman Moyheldin raised the ire of HR readers by callously blaming Israelis for the attacks against them.

(Several months earlier, Moyheldin was caught on-air calling a Palestinian terrorist “unarmed” even as video footage next to Moyheldin clearly showed the terrorist running with a knife raised in the air.)


2. Most-Viewed Video

HR readers have an intuitive sense that journalists apply double standards to Israel, but it was highly compelling to see the media’s inconsistency (at best) or hypocrisy (at worst) displayed so shamelessly after various Islamic terror attacks in Europe and in Western air strikes on Islamic State.

This video compared and contrasted CNN’s coverage of a US-led attack against Islamic State in Iraq vs coverage of Israel’s defensive war against Hamas in Gaza. I think part of its success was that it got beyond our proverbial choir, reaching people who don’t necessarily follow the Israeli-Palestinian conflict but understood a common cause.


3. Most Successful Facebook Post

Our most widely seen Facebook post was in response to a truly deplorable CBS News headline. We just posted a pithy comment with a screengrab of the headline; reader rage fueled everything else.


4. Most-Viewed Tweet

While 200 fires blazed across different parts of the country in November, “Israel is burning” became a trending hashtags as Palestinians and Arabs around the world celebrated the flames with comments, images and videos.

Our response was this tweet which was seen and shared by a lot of readers, I think because people understood the fires left no winners.


5. Most-Shared Infographic

The Temple Mount featured a lot in the media in 2016, as the Palestinians terror wave was claimed to be a response to alleged Israeli efforts to change the holy site’s status quo and UNESCO passed resolutions ignoring Jewish ties to the Temple Mount.

So to commemorate Tisha B’Av — when Jews around the world fast and mourn the destruction of the two ancient Jewish Temples — we created an infographic explaining the Temple Mount in Jewish history.

Media coverage tends to shortchange historical background on why the Temple Mount is holy. The infographic allowed readers to easily understand and share the deeper context.



6. Most-Read Israel Daily News Stream

The Israel Daily News Stream is a daily roundup of the main news and commentary — everything you need to know about Israel and the Mideast. The headline for this March 6 roundup made for a perfect storm of keywords, curiosity and clicks.



7. Biggest Success (HR France)

In mid-December, the French television program “Enquête Exclusive,” aired Jerusalem: When the Holy City Tears Itself Apart. The documentary, about the city’s Israeli-Palestinian relations, was full of lies, inaccuracies and half-truths.

HR France’s critique sparked a demonstration in front of Channel M6’s Paris headquarters. French Jewish activists are even using our point-by-critique as one basis for legal action.

Abonnez-vous à HR France ou suivez-nous sur Facebook.


French Jews demonstrating outside the Paris headquarters of Channel M6.


8. Biggest Success (HR Brazil)

After a Palestinian killed an Israeli police officer and one Israeli civilian in a Jerusalem shooting attack, Brazil’s biggest news portal, G1, wrote a headline in Portuguese saying Shooting near tram station in Jerusalem injures people.

HR Brasil took action on Facebook and our Brazilian readers contacted G1 demanding changes in the superficial headline, and the next day, the headline changed to Two Israelis die in a Palestinian attack in Jerusalem.

Here are screengrabs of the two headlines. The corrected version’s on top.


Junte-se ao HR Brasil ou siga no Facebook.


9. Most-Read Fighting BDS Post

Unfortunately, the mainstream media takes the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign against Israel at face value. That’s why we launched Fighting BDS: to raise awareness of how the movement tries to delegitimize Israel and expose how BDS hides its true intentions in the guise of human rights.

Israel-Hater Unwittingly Confirms That BDS is Anti-Semitic, a take-down of an Israel-basher’s UK commentary, was our most-read Fighting BDS content. We believe the post’s success is because it’s the ultimate irony when BDS activists prove their movement is anti-Semitic while trying to do the opposite.

Follow Fighting BDS on Facebook and Twitter.



10. Most-Read News Literacy Content

To educate readers on how to recognize both quality and flawed journalism, HonestReporting began publishing News Literacy content, kicking it off with a series of articles and videos about the eight categories of media bias.

The introduction to that series has been getting plenty of traffic as readers use it as springboard to learn more.



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