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January 04, 2017

Incomplete Headlines Mislead on Elor Azaria Shooting

After an Israeli military court today convicted Israeli soldier Elor Azaria of manslaughter for fatally shooting a wounded Palestinian assailant in Hebron last April, several media outlets published incomplete and misleading headlines, ignoring the fact that Fatah al-Sharif was an assailant while noting only that he was wounded.

Clearly, obscuring the fact that the wounded Palestinian subsequently shot dead is an assailant who just carried out an attack is a gross distortion of the facts surrounding the case. Several months ago, Presspectiva, CAMERA's Hebrew department, called out Haaretz's English edition for repeated headlines failing to identify the wounded Palestinian as an assailant while the Hebrew edition did commendably note the key fact that he was an attacker. Since then, Haaretz's English edition has significantly improved and has routinely identified the wounded Palestinian whom Azaria shot dead as an assailant.

Today, several international media outlets are guilty of publishing similarly misleading headlines. The New York Times' original headline , for instance, was: "Elor Azaria, Israeli Soldier Who Shot Wounded Palestinian, Guilty of Manslaughter."

nyt Azaria headline.JPG

Following CAMERA's communication with The Times, editors promptly revised the headline to reflect the fact that the Palestinian was an assailant. The amended headline reads: "Israeli Soldier Who Shot Wounded Palestinian Assailant Is Convicted of Manslaughter."

nyt azaria amended.JPG

Similarly, AFP's original headline noted that al-Sharif was "prone," but ignored the fact that he was an attacker:

afp prone Palestinian.JPG

After CAMERA objected to the misleading headline, AFP editors implemented a marginal improvement. Instead of adding the information that the Palestinian was an attacker, they opted for less information, removing the fact that he was prone. As of press time, the most current AFP headline is:

afp azaria amended.JPG

CNN, too, originally went with the skewed headline, as the following early screen shot shows:

cnn headline Azaria.JPG

As of press time, CNN improved its headline, which now states:

cnn azaria improved.JPG

Al Jazeera's headline likewise refers to the fact that Al-Sharif is wounded and ignores that he was an attacker:

Al Jazeera Azaria.JPG

The story was much the same at The International Business Times:

ibt azaria.JPG

In addition, CAMERA's UK Media Watch has flagged the same misleading headlines at The Guardian and The Telegraph.

Posted by TS at January 4, 2017 06:51 AM


What if he had a detonator in his pocket?

Posted by: Anonymous at January 4, 2017 07:06 PM

A court convicted a murderer and has yet to sentence him. Azaria never denied the shooting but the court discounted his stated cause. Now wait to hear sentencing. Then the fun begins.

Posted by: Martin Gaskin at January 5, 2017 01:48 PM

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