Mideast analyst Tom Gross attended a conference “Giving the Middle East context: Reporters view the world they cover,” organized by Israel’s Institute for National Security Studies. The conference featured leading Middle East correspondents from The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Christian Science Monitor, National Public Radio and several European papers and TV networks, who spoke on the question of media objectivity and how they covered the Middle East.
According to Gross, who can be seen interviewed on the video below (click on the image and scroll down to the bottom of the page):
It’s also revealing or maybe confirming that a lot of foreign correspondents, even though they claim to be objective, and they probably genuinely think they are objective, they are in fact anything but objective.
Gross was particularly disturbed by comments made by senior Dutch journalist Connie Mus, correspondent for the Dutch stations RTL 4 and RTL 5, and for Belgium’s VTM TV, about how wonderful the Saudi authorities are:
The gentleman from the Netherlands, from Dutch TV – he was praising the Saudis, significantly praising them after his trip there. He even praised women’s rights in Saudi Arabia, which I find quite incredible. He praised prison conditions in Saudi Arabia and then he severely criticized Israel, Israeli press freedoms, Israeli prison conditions.
Now I think we all know that Israel’s not perfect but the idea that an objective European journalist from the Netherlands can think that Saudi Arabia gives more press freedom, more women’s rights, better treatment of prisoners, where prisoners often die of torture in Saudi jails. He was so unobjective that I found it disturbing.