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March 09, 2009

Time Magazine's Dismal Clarifications

In several January articles, Time magazine claimed that Israel had shelled a UN school in Gaza and had killed over 40 of the civilians there seeking shelter. Israel did not shell the school and no one was killed in the school.
Israel did target and strike rocket-launching Hamas terrorists across the street from the school, and unfortunately a few bystander civilians were also killed.

CAMERA wrote to Time magazine urging that corrections be published. Below are Time magazine's dismal "clarifications," which do more to obfuscate than clarify.

Notice the clarifications never mention that Israel targeted and hit rocket-launching terrorists across the street from the school. They also fail to mention that Israeli officials say that the number of those killed was much less than 40 and that many, if not most, of them were Hamas combatants. Time also placed the clarifications on only two of the three articles with the "Israel Bombed Gaza School" error.

The headline for the January 7th article still screams that Israel "Bombed Gaza School," and you have to wade through three pages to get to the clarification at the very end of the article. And then, it only vaguely implies that Israel did not shell the school. It notes unclearly that the shelling "took place outside the school."

The clarification for the January 8th article doesn't even go that far. Readers are likely to wrongly conclude from that item that Israel shelled the school compound, just not inside the school building itself.

Time's dismal clarification for the January 7th article,
"UN: No Hamas Fighters in Bombed Gaza School" by Tim McGirk
[ The following note was placed at the end of the article]

"The original version of this story said the the United Nations Relief and Works Agency school in Jabalya was hit by Israeli bombs. That was based on a preliminary UN report on the Jan. 6 incident that referred to 'the shelling of the UNRWA school.' That report was later clarified to indicate that the shelling and the fatalities took place outside the school. The report reiterated that many among the more than 40 fatalities were among the 1,368 people who had taken refuge in the school. "

Time's dismal clarification for the January 8th article,
"Can Israel Survive Its Assault on Gaza?" by Tim McGirk.
[ The following note was placed at the end of the article]

"The original version of this story referred to the killing of at least 40 civilians taking shelter at a United Nations-run school north of Gaza City. While more than 40 people were killed in the incident, the United Nations issued a clarification indicating that many - but not all - of those dead were among the 1,368 people who had taken refuge at the school. It also said that they were outside the school when they were killed."

Urge Time magazine to amend their corrections to clearly state that Israel targeted and struck rocket-launching Hamas combatants across the street from a Gaza school and that no one in the school was killed. Write to:
richard_stengel@timemagazine.com , michael_elliott@timemagazine.com , adi_ignatius@timemagazine.com , romesh_ratnesar@timemagazine.com , letters@time.com

Also urge them to clearly correct the other erroneous article (Jan 14th) mentioned in our earlier report.

Posted by LG at March 9, 2009 02:56 AM

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