NPR Erases Israel From the Map



HRsuccessThe offending map has been removed following a complaint from HonestReporting. In its place is the following:

Editor’s note: The original version of this post contained a map illustration intended to represent the countries of the Middle East and North Africa, which poll respondents identified as the region presenting the greatest risk to travelers and expatriates in 2016. The map had a number of errors. The countries of Cyprus, Israel and Turkey were either not shown or not labeled; the label for “Palestine” should have read “Palestinian territories”; and Afghanistan and Pakistan were mistakenly included. NPR apologizes for these errors.


NPR’s public ombudsman has published an explanation concerning the map, crediting HonestReporting’s readers for its removal. See here for more.

* * *

Hot on the heels of CNN’s recent “Palestina” faux pas, it’s now the turn of National Public Radio (NPR) to erase Israel from the map.

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Once again, it’s happened where we’d least expect it, this time as part of a feature on health entitled “What Are You Afraid Of In 2016? Globetrotters Share Their Fears,” which includes the map above.

As you can see, every Middle East and wider regional state appears. All except Israel, which is, instead, replaced by “Palestine.”

Perhaps NPR meant to produce a map that specifically highlights the Muslim world. If that is the case, then this should have made this clear as to why Israel is not included (as well as producing a more accurate term that could be used to describe the West Bank and Gaza / Palestinian Territories or the like).




If NPR has decided to depict the entire Muslim world as something to be afraid of in 2016, it is entirely possible that NPR will not only find itself in hot water with HonestReporting.

NPR now has a choice to make: either put Israel back on the map or admit that its map is anti-Muslim. Whatever the case, NPR has dug itself a hole.

HonestReporting Managing Editor Simon Plosker adds:

It is completely unacceptable for NPR to publish an image that erases Israel from the map. That nobody at NPR recognized just how problematic this image is on multiple levels speaks volumes about the deficiencies in the editorial process.


NPR should do the right thing and either restore Israel to its legitimate place or come clean and acknowledge that the map, in the context of the article, is meant to signify a fear of the Muslim world. Given this choice, NPR should consider removing the image in its entirety.


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