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January 29, 2018

Civilian Bounties, Quartz, Haaretz & Lousy Translations

Quartz, which describes itself as "a digitally native news outlet, born in 2012, for business people in the new global economy. We publish bracingly creative and intelligent journalism with a broad worldview," today took heat on Twitter for inaccurate headline about a new recruitment plan for the inspectors at Israel's Population and Immigration Authority.

The erroneous Jan. 27 headline in question reads: "Israel will pay civilians $9000 to capture African immigrants."


But as Yair Rosenberg, a senior writer at Tablet, tweeted:

This is completely false. The Hebrew advertisement used as the source for this report is for hiring immigration and customs enforcement officers. Nothing to do with bounties for civilians. I guess the author of this can't read Hebrew, or is relying on readers not being able to.


Perhaps Quartz, with its broad worldview and apparent lack of Hebrew skills, relied on Haaretz's English edition for the story. Haaretz's English edition, whose masthead boasts that it is "Israel's leading daily newspaper," originally ran the following erroneous headline: "Israel to Pay $9,000 to Any Civilian Willing to Help Deport Asylum Seekers by Force" (Jan. 12).


Notably, the original headline in Haaretz's Hebrew edition was accurate. It did not falsely allege that civilians would be receiving bounties for rounding up asylum seekers. It states (CAMERA's translation): "The state recruits inspectors for the deportation of asylum seekers, offers 30,000 shekel bonus." (For more examples of "Haaretz, Lost in Translation," or instances when misinformation about Israel appears in Haaretz's English edition, but not the Hebrew edition, see here.)

The English edition's false headline remained in place until January 28, at which point editors commendably corrected it. The amended Haaretz headline now states: "Israel Recruiting Inspectors to Deport Asylum Seekers by Force, Promising $9,000 Bonus."


Haaretz editors commendably appended the following note to the bottom of the article alerting readers to the change:

recruiting inspectorsappended.jpg

Now will Quartz exercise its intelligent journalism to likewise correct its headline?

Last updated, 12:30 pm EST: Jerusalem Post , Quartz Correct False Headline About Bounty for Civilians Who Catch Asylum Seekers

Posted by TS at January 29, 2018 04:06 AM


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