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August 12, 2011

News Fit to Frame: The New York Times and the Crown Heights Riots

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A must-read piece by former New York Times reporter Ari L. Goldman isn't directly about coverage of the Arab-Israeli conflict, but it does provide insight into why and how the newspaper misleads about that conflict.

The article examines how journalists' eyewitness reporting filed from Brooklyn during the Crown Heights riots was changed to fit the "frame" preferred by editors back at Times headquarters in Manhattan.

Goldman begins by noting that

Journalists initially framed the story as a “racial” conflict and failed to see the anti-Semitism inherent in the riots. As the 20th anniversary of the riots approaches, I find myself re-examining my own role in the coverage and trying to extract some lessons for myself and my profession.

He concludes:

I am telling my story in print for the first time because it is important that we journalists examine our mistakes and learn from them. Fitting stories into frames — whether about blacks and Jews, liberals or conservatives, Arabs and Israelis, Catholics and Protestants or Muslims and Jews — is wrong and even dangerous. Life is more complicated than that. And so is journalism.

Read the whole story here.

Posted by GI at August 12, 2011 10:45 AM

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