« LA Times' Inflated Gaza Casualty Stat Exceeds Palestinian Source's | Main | Revealing the Truth About the Gaza Conflict Piece By Piece »

September 02, 2014

Former BBC Correspondent Discusses Gaza Coverage, Media Aversion to Self-Reflection


Matti Friedman's devastating critique of news coverage of the Arab-Israeli conflict has inspired another media veteran to weigh in. "There is much that Matti Friedman writes that resonates," writes former BBC correspondent Richard Miron, mentioning specifically "the disproportionate coverage that Israel receives, and the way that the foreign media has broadly speaking accepted a narrative of the conflict which prescribes given roles to Israel (as the guilty party) and the Palestinians (as the victims)."

While the entire piece is well worth a read — find it on Miron's blog here (or at Haaretz here) — one of the more disheartening bits is his conclusion that any improvement in the media's performance would require a degree of self-criticism that has generally been absent among journalists:

the (Western) media must also account for itself and for its own conduct including apparent omissions and failures in the reporting of the conflict. It must question where reporting may have ended and emoting began, if it held Israel to a standard apart from all others, and why it allowed Hamas a free pass in controlling the flow of information. Its coverage had consequences in fuelling the passions (and hatred) of many on the streets of Paris, London and elsewhere towards Israel, and by extension towards Jews.

The media is instinctively averse from turning the lens of scrutiny upon itself, and will – in all likelihood – veer away from any self-examination. It is better at calling out the wrong-doing of others, than admitting to its own faults. But whatever it chooses to do or not, the picture it painted of Gaza 2014 and its consequences are already etched in the consciousness of many around the world, and will serve as a further chapter in this never ending story.

Miron has clearly seen this "aversion" to self-examination as an insider, just as CAMERA has occasionally (though not universally) seen in our decades of holding the media accountable. But the situation is not hopeless. We've also seen that when the internal voice for improvement is missing, the collective voice of a public that insists on accuracy and fairness can and must take its place as a needed impetus for change.

Posted by GI at September 2, 2014 10:33 AM


Guidelines for posting

This is a moderated blog. We will not post comments that include racism, bigotry, threats, or factually inaccurate material.

Post a comment

Remember Me?

(you may use HTML tags for style)