And this brings me to the Age Foreign News Editor, Maher Mugrabi. Following the release of Gilad Shalit, the Age published an Op-Ed from Mugrabi entitled “Prisoner swap unequal to task”. After reading that piece (and others like it by Mugrabi), I’m puzzled by the Fairfax Media claim of providing balanced news from the region and wonder if this explains the body of what should be important news stories from the region that never see the light of day in the Age.
A recurring theme that demonstrates the bias of Fairfax Media journalists over the years has been the “footnote gambit”. In their writing, they will sometimes proffer a disclaimer, usually in the form of a footnote to a story; presumably to give it some context. It might be to the effect that Israel is illegally blockading Gaza to explain to the dear gullible reader why the so called “militants” are firing missiles at Israeli civilian targets (as if this somehow justifies the commission of war crimes).
No disclaimer is apparently necessary to advise the same readership that these “militants” are guided by a formal charter that calls for the destruction of Israel and genocide against all Jews and that these “militants” routinely fire their missiles from heavily populated civilian areas therefore putting innocents including their own children in the line of fire themselves or that this itself is a crime against humanity.
The events stemming from the “Arab Spring” have highlighted the poor judgment of those in the media who turned a blind eye to the tyranny, the corruption and the lies of Arab dictators who treated their own people with contempt. Assad continues to murder his own in Syria and many consumers of the news from this region are only now coming to understand that Hamas and the Palestinian Authority are equally corrupt and dishonest. Yet there are those in the media who continue to provide cover for thugs who stand in the way of peace between Israel and the Palestinians and in doing so they are treating their readership with contempt.
In the case of this media organization, its readership is dwindling and profits are falling so allow me to offer my footnote.
Fairfax Media treats its readership as fools and routinely fails to live up to the words of Chairman Roger Corbett who says his newspapers are supposed to bring a “balanced point of view” to the table.
Emily Gian is the Israel Advocacy Analyst for the Zionist Council of Victoria in Australia and is a PhD Candidate in Israeli Literature.
Image: CC BY-SA HonestReporting.com, flickr/puuikibeach, flickr/Rennett Stowe.