An example of bias in Reuters reporting on the middle east

Just a quick note here about this paragraph from the Reuters story in the NY Times about Carter’s visit to Hamas:

Hamas, which took control of the Gaza Strip by force in June from Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah faction, has rejected Western demands to recognize Israel, renounce violence and accept existing Israeli-Palestinian interim peace deals.

It just stands out to me how amazing it is that this sort of one-sided statement is accepted with no questions asked.  Were this a fair article couldn’t we point out that, in the first place, Hamas took control after Fatah, backed and encouraged by the CIA, instigated a coup against the elected government of Hamas before Hamas was forced to take Gaza?  Were this a fair article wouldn’t we also note that Israel fails to recognize a Palestinians state?  Wouldn’t we note that Israel refuses to renounce violence (which it uses with far deadlier consequences than Palestine’s violence)?  Wouldn’t it be fair to note that Israel does not accept existing Israeli-Palestinian interim peace deals?

Is this type of clearly biased reporting not the root cause of our twisted view of the middle-east?


1 Response to “An example of bias in Reuters reporting on the middle east”

  1. 1 Daniel April 18, 2008 at 2:37 pm

    Too true, too true…

    I take journalism courses toward an MJ right now, and it’s amazing the stuff we learn in theory and readings about the way media actually works… Then, when we go to courses where we apply journalism skills, we are supposed to forget half of the theories we are taught in order to ‘get the story’

    Not only do they frame the story by leaving certain facts omitted, as you point out, but it’s also in the words they use to report.

    The English language, in particular, provides so many synonyms for one word, each with a different shade of meaning, that reporters can easily make things sound biased (often without realizing it) or editors can easily make something sound more salacious. Consider the word ‘rejected’ in that above quote. It could say ‘declined,’ a word with a more subdued meaning, instead of ‘rejected.’

    Just my $0.02

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