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Tuesday, August 4, 2015
Cancel the paper when you hate the story?

News coverage of the month-long battle between Israel and Hamas has triggered strong reaction among readers of some daily newspapers, particularly The New York Times.

Many people I know canceled their subscriptions to protest what they perceive as editorial bias against Israel. They are outraged by what they think is anti-Israel sentiment at the paper of record. 

These Times critics cite graphic reporting on the deaths of civilians in Gaza, especially the children. And they object to the Times’s front-page photos, day after day, showing Palestinian parents carrying wounded children, fleeing bombed-out houses and keening over the bodies of dead soldiers. One friend said he canceled his subscription, got a call asking him to reconsider, and told the sales agent, “Be nicer to Israel and I’ll read the paper again.”

One clear fact emerges from the complex and emotional turmoil in the Middle East: No newspaper, from the big dailies like the Times to local weeklies like the Heralds, can claim objective coverage of the war. Journalism’s standards require that we try to be objective, that we analyze ourselves for unintentional prejudices, that we balance a potential powder keg story by telling both sides. And still we unintentionally shade and twist and bend the truth, not because we want to, but because we’re human beings who bring unconscious biases to the process of reporting and writing the news.

I have no wish to defend The New York Times, but I don’t see canceling a subscription as the most effective way of registering disapproval of news coverage. Newspapers are the great public meeting houses of our culture. The place to dissent and argue is in a letter, call or email to an editor. The pages of a newspaper shouldn’t be mirrors that reflect back to us what we already know; they are, rather, a ticker tape of history in all its messy detail.

It is precisely on the pages of a newspaper that controversial issues should be reported. On the editorial pages, the same issues are analyzed. Agree or disagree, but don’t kill the messenger.

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taloolah

The New York Times reporting on anything Israel has been biased, negative and unfair since it has reported on Israel. People are fed up. They are not protesting a story but an ongoing injustice to the public they serve. I don't see how you could possible not know this!

Of course the loss of innocent life is tragic, but what choice do people have when target by hundreds of bombs aimed at them DAILY!!!! Gather the facts before you make such short sighted criticisms.

Saturday, August 16, 2014 | Report this
jaywoktov

Randi Kreiss’s article entitled “Cancel the paper when you hate the story?” is totally missing the point why I, along with countless former New York Times readers, cancelled our subscriptions to the New York Times. I certainly do not object to the reporting of news when it is objective and accurate. How come the Wall Street Journal can get it right? I am a big boy. If Israel behaves badly, report it. But be truthful. When Hamas behaves badly, perhaps that too deserves a mention? The standards of journalism that she professes is being followed by journalists are blatantly ignored by the journalists at the Times. Perhaps she speaks for herself in her attempt to defend journalism, but she needs to please speak for herself only and not all journalists, especially those that are employed at the Times. They do not make the slightest attempt to be objective and there is no doubt that their anti- Israel prejudices are indeed intentional. Have they no shame? There is no balance in their reporting and they certainly are not telling both sides. Their anti –Israel bias is CONSCIOUS and obvious. We are outraged not by what we “think” is anti-Israel bias but what we know is. The only pictures shown of Israeli life are tanks and jets and bombardments. So effective is their depiction of the Israelis and the Jews - as a cold, totally military and barbaric force. They support their hatred of Israel with the Palestinian mother crying over her dead child and the fathers wailing in the street at the death and destruction brought upon them by the Israeli ‘aggressors’. But the Times make sure not to convey the barbarism and pure evil that put that child in harm’s way in the first place. They intentionally leave out of their articles the forceful use of civilians as human shields by Hamas. They chose to report mere numbers of deaths so as to covey to the public that Israel must be the evil party because so many more of the other side have been killed! No real mention of human shields. No real mention of fake Pallywood scenes inundating the media. No real mention of Palestinian casualties caused by their own misfired rockets (over 10% have misfired and landed in Gaza adding to the destruction). No real mention of Israel’s extraordinary effort to avoid civilian casualties by dropping leaflets, phone calls, text messages…. I can go on and on…. It’s not a matter of agreeing or disagreeing with the facts as presented. I wish they actually presented the real facts. I am appalled at the level of dishonesty employed in conveying to an unknowing public (all around the world) stories that so clearly leave out the most basic and important facts which only portray Israel as the evil aggressor and Hamas as the oppressed. Killing the messenger and hitting them where it hurts (in the pocketbook) is the least we can do! It is not the mere disapproval of news coverage that causes my cancellation of a subscription to a publication. If that were the case, I would have cancelled my subscription to the Nassau Herald years ago based on the poison she writes in her many ultra-liberal progressive articles- including her pathetic defense of the Israel bashing New York Times journalists.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014 | Report this
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