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May 25, 2011

For New York Times, 10 Percent Equals "Nearly Unanimous"

A May 25 online story in the New York Times is headlined, "Israelis See Netanyahu Trip as Diplomatic Failure."

In it, correspondent Ethan Bronner writes that

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel returned from Washington on Wednesday to a nearly unanimous assessment among Israelis that despite his forceful defense of Israel’s security interests, hopes were dashed that his visit might advance peace negotiations with the Palestinians.

Read the bolded section again. Now read the results of a poll commissioned by Ha'aretz and publicized, to the misfortune of the Times, shortly after Bronner's piece:

The poll, conducted by the Dialog organization, under the supervision of Prof. Camil Fuchs of the Tel Aviv University Statistics Department, showed that 47 percent of the Israeli public believes the U.S. trip was a success, while only 10 percent viewed it as a failure.

The Times and other media organizations too often fail to capture the feelings, concerns and hopes of mainstream Israelis. This might be as close as we get to statistical evidence of that journalistic shortcoming.

(h/t Amspecblog.)

Posted by GI at May 25, 2011 10:51 PM

Comments

I haven't read either "NY Slimes" or "Ha-Errors", but 47% "success" and 10% "failure" equals 57%. Where's the rest of the responses? 43% of Israelis could not be undecided, could they?

Posted by: ben n at May 26, 2011 06:46 AM

Although the haaretz poll need not contradict the NYT, since they answer different questions, the NYT is still very misleading in their headline. Whether Israelis believe the peace negotiations will advance is debatable regardless of whether you blame Israel ór the Palestinians for it. Those who blame the palestinians would be hard-pressed to call Netanyahu's visit a 'failure'.

Posted by: Ron at May 26, 2011 08:52 AM

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