What info is relevant?

An important point submitted by an HR reader:

In discussions with friends and family about biased reporting in the Mideast, I have
been taken to task when criticizing news sources for reporting a “fact” while failing to
mention relevant information which contradicts it. One friend said that it was unfair to
take a reporter to task for what he DIDN’T say; another said that news sources were not
responsible for running entire histories in single articles.

Below is a quote from today’s Fox News which illustrates my point. I have heard
mention of terrorist Yasser Arafat being the “elected” leader of the “Palestinians” many times on NPR. However, in today’s article on the Mideast on Fox News, a slight addition to the sentence changes the entire perspective:

“Palestinians … note that Arafat is their elected president — although the term he won in a 1996 vote has formally expired.”

This is without even going into the subject as to whether the “Palestinians” had the
actually freedom to make their votes count in a free election.

We raised a similar point in our communique “The Media’s Mideast Relativism.” — journalists use the “he said/she said” approach in their attempt to present a “balanced picture,” but when one side issues patently false information, isn’t the cause of “objective reporting” compromised, unless statements are qualified by the reporter?

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