HR’s response to AJR article

The American Journalism Review published an article by Barbara Matusow criticizing the role of media monitors in coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Here’s HonestReporting’s response to the AJR:

To the AJR Editor,

In her recent article ‘Caught in the Crossfire’, Barbara Matusow critiques our organization among others that advocate balanced coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Unfortunately, Ms. Matusow omits any mention of the countless corrections and significant improvements in coverage that our organization has been reponsible for, and for which Mideast correspondents themselves often express appreciation. Perhaps worse, Ms. Matusow maligns responsible news outlets such as CNN that have devoted resources to improving balance in their Mideast coverage, claiming editors there are merely bowing to the “intense pressure.”

“One newspaper reporter,” laments Ms. Matusow, “acknowledged in an interview that she has balanced the number of quotes in her dispatches to ward off criticism.” Our understanding is that balanced quotations are a desirable practice when covering a conflict. Why does Ms. Matusow consider this an unfortunate result of media monitors?

Indeed, Ms. Matusow’s tendentious piece is precisely the type of journalism our organization seeks to correct.


Michael Weinstein
Managing Editor

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