Looking LocalJuly 30, 2008 22:00 by ManagingTeam
While HonestReporting regularly takes on the media giants such as The New York Times and the BBC, we cannot ignore the influence and reach of smaller local media outlets. Writing in The Jerusalem Post, Ira Rifkin points out that: “Thanks to the Web’s inroads, American newspapers are in crisis. Other than a few flagship national publications, most industry mavens agree that the only papers likely to survive beyond the next few years are those whose focus is obsessively local.”
Many of these local media outlets rely on standard wire copy such as the Associated Press for their Israel coverage. The letters and opinion pages, however, are a different story. Referring to his own efforts countering anti-Israel sentiments in the pages of his Annapolis local paper, The Capital, Rifkin acknowledges the importance of local media:
Verbal attacks on Israel in US papers and other media outlets are ceaseless, and can be demoralizing. But how do we measure their impact on the average American? Should we simply assume that a pro-Hamas op-ed in The New York Times is far more damaging to Israel’s cause than a local activist’s letter in a minor paper? Perhaps we should assume that Times‘ readers are less likely to fall for obvious spin because they are more sophisticated than local media consumers? It’s impossible to be sure.
What I do know is that the ADC [American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee] Website encourages supporters to send letters and op-eds to their local paper on a regular basis. The Website also asks supporters to keep ADC informed about media reports that contradict its positions so that it may follow up. In short, the Arab Lobby regards papers such as The Capital as important in its propaganda campaign to win over grassroots American public opinion – which is why it is incumbent upon Israel’s supporters to take local media just as seriously.
Think globally but act locally. Bogus anti-Israel claims must be contested, no matter how seemingly inconsequential the platform. Israel’s narrative must be voiced – again and again and again, if necessary – so that public opinion is not molded by Israel’s enemies alone.
HonestReporting monitors many media outlets around the globe but we still need your help – please let us know by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org if your local newspaper publishes op-ed or its own independent material (i.e. not AP or other wire services) that you believe deserves a proper response.
FIGHTING BACK ON FACEBOOK
Facebook has become a very potent and dangerous tool for promoting hatred and the delegitimzation of Israel. Such is the proliferation of online hate and terror sites that it was the recent subject of a Congressional briefing. In a new development, The Jerusalem Post reports:
The Jewish Internet Defense Force, a group that claims to have 5,000 members worldwide, says it is steadily removing members from a viciously anti-Israel and anti-Semitic group on Facebook, having taken control of the group on Sunday….
In the JIDF’s latest efforts, the group has been working around the clock to dismantle the group on Facebook titled, “Israel is not a country! Delist it from Facebook as a country.” That group had tens of thousands of members.
“This was one of the most vile, most anti-Semitic, most pro-Jihad and most disgusting, and most importantly, most active hate groups on the Internet,” the JIDF posted on the anti-Israel page on Facebook. “It actively promoted hatred, violence, murder and genocide. Despite tens of thousands of complaints, Facebook wouldn’t remove it.”
“Facebook’s negligence and abdication of responsibility gave us no option but to take matters in our own hands,” the JIDF added.
Anti-Israel propagandists and terror supporters have correctly identified Facebook and other Social Media applications such as YouTube as a means of spreading their hatred. HonestReporting is on the frontline, going beyond traditional print and television media but we need your help. Unlike newspapers, Social Media relies for content not from professional journalists but on YOU, the ordinary reader.
So engage in these sites and respond to anti-Israel content through, not only online protest, but also by promoting positive material to bring the real picture about Israel to millions of unaffiliated web users. Start by signing up to Facebook and becoming a member of HonestReporting’s own group.