HonestReporting CEO Joe Hyams participated in the two-day conference on Israel’s Global Image Crisis at Bar Ilan University this week.
The conference, a gathering of key players involved in the fight for Israel’s image, also featured journalist Melanie Phillips, Professor Mordechai Kedar, and former GPO head Danny Seaman, among a host of other major figures.
Joe spoke on the first day of the conference in a panel devoted to examining the role of NGOs and the power of public diplomacy. He discussed many of the media’s recent failures, particularly when reporters refuse to make value judgments for the sake of appearing impartial.
“Now, bus stops are being bombed (not the commuters standing at them), philosophers being invited to deal with intentionality vis-a-vis civilian deaths, and Goldstone himself re-evaluating that question – lead me to frame once more the issue of (im)moral equivalence, and the fence sitting fashion of ‘not judging values’ when reporting on a story,” Joe said following his presentation.
Joe also discussed about how every member of the public plays a crucial role in helping spread important information and helping move ideas that are important to Israel from the grassroots into the mainstream media.
“I spoke about the increasing power of ‘One Person United’ – every one of us lives with the potential of ‘being the difference’ on a story hitting a viral tipping point, reaching an unexpected base of influence,” he said. We’ve seen it over and over with our biggest successes.”
The conference was sponsored by Bar Ilan University’s Center for International Communications along with the USC Center for Public Diplomacy.