The Human FalloutAugust 27, 2003 12:00 by ManagingTeam
Dear HonestReporting Subscriber,
On Tuesday evening a Palestinian suicide terrorist struck a packed Jerusalem bus, killing twenty and injuring more than one hundred. One aspect of this attack made it uniquely barbaric ? the bus was filled with young children on summer vacation, on their way home from worshiping with their families at the Western Wall. With at least seven children dead and more than forty still wounded, this one has become known in Israel, with a heavy heart, as “The Children’s Attack.”
Yet many news outlets chose to focus their main reports on the diplomatic implications of Tuesday’s attack. Reuters, for example, headlined a story “Bus Blast in Israel Deals Deadly Blow to Truce.”
While the political fallout of the bombing is significant, “the story” of a terror attack ? especially one targeting children ? is far more than diplomatic. With scores of parents still nursing or mourning their children, and children mourning their parents, some reporters submitted human interest stories on the human fallout of this particularly heinous attack:
– James Bennet of The New York Times wrote a poignant article describing the funeral of a baby, and doctors’ noble efforts to treat child terror victims.
– Associated Press addressed the excruciating difficulties of reuniting families victimized by the blast.
– The Washington Post ran a touching profile of the child victims of the attack, entitled “Special Sorrow for the Young.”
This is a human interest story about Israeli victims that demands broad coverage. Did your local paper print such a story?
HonestReporting encourages subscribers to call the editors of your local paper right now, and urge them to run a follow-up, human interest account of Tuesday’s barbaric murder of Jerusalem children and families. Five Americans were also killed in the attack ? a further reason for local human interest in the U.S. (Your local paper can run one of the aforementioned articles, which are easily available for reprint.)
— REUTERS’ “HUMAN” INTEREST —
Reuters also released a sympathetic, human interest profile ? on the life of the terrorist bomber. Reuters encourages readers to rationalize his monstrous act, describing how the “academic cleric…was embittered by ill treatment” in an Israeli jail, and “infuriated by Israel’s killing this month of a distant relative.” Further, Reuters confers a modicum of credibility to his mass murder by blandly grouping him among “militants waging a 34-month-old uprising for independence.”
On the Israeli side, Reuters did release an article on the religious community hit hardest by the blast. The article, however, was largely a cold, sociological overview that referred to the people as “menfolk” who don “heavy dark frocks and headgear.”
Apparently, this is the best Reuters can muster to humanize Israeli terror victims.
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