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May 23, 2005

AP Editorializes: Israeli Pledge "Shallow"

Journalists' opinions do not belong in news stories. It is a basic ethical principal in journalism that opinions should be set apart as editorials, columns, or news analysis pieces.

Yet, AP writer Jim Krane and his editors found it appropriate to publish Krane's opinion as news:

Dahlan and Olmert embraced as a public seal of their vows - Dahlan's pledge to halt attacks on Israel after it turns the Gaza Strip over to Palestinian control, Olmert's promise for ``substantial, tangible changes'' in Israel's economic blockade of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.

But the public displays of goodwill changed to finger-pointing at a later session. Asked privately whether he thought Dahlan's pledge was genuine, Olmert shrugged and said the Palestinian official had made two similar promises that proved ineffective.

And Olmert's pledge to allow Palestinians to revitalize their economy appeared shallow when he was pressed for specifics during an interview with The Associated Press.

Krane and his editors would do well to heed to the APME Statement of Ethical Principles — the AP's code of ethics — which clearly notes: "Editorials and expressions of personal opinion by reporters and editors should be clearly labeled."

That is, save your opinions for opinion pieces.

Posted by GI at May 23, 2005 11:55 AM