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Top Five Media Fails, Gaza Conflict Edition


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Reporting during wartime may be the ultimate challenge for the media. But the conflict between Israel and Hamas revealed, yet again, the severe limitations of traditional journalism.

Five media fails stand out in particular.

Published in: News & Politics
  • Hey guys! Who wants to chat with me? More photos with me here 👉
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  • This is a report from UN...sure not biased to Hamas side...
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    I think that CNN will not be biased, surely not with Hamas... A picture can be better than a thousand word..
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  • Why you didn't mention the Onorwa schools which got hit by Israel missiles many times, Onorwa is unbiased but you are not. Why you forgot to mention the Israeli attacks on hospitals. I'm sure that is because you are Zionist. You think killing thousands of people is a simple matter as long they are not Jewish.
    Do you think you are really fair when you don't believe the facts about dead bodies and turn suspicions into facts?
    you used sentences such as 'In several cases' that you built many facts over it.
    I think you are trying to make us believing what you want us to believe, but we believe facts and evidences.The undoubtful fact is that Israel started this war without any real reason or need, and Israel is killing civilians by intent.
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  • Shame on you SLIDESHARE for being a part of the aggressor's propaganda machine. The bottom line is that arrogant Israelis don't expect or accept being criticised no matter what they do and how badly they behave. In the past, any western journalist who dared to speak the truth got intimidated and was labelled anti-Semitic.
    It has been said, and still stands correct, that 'the first victim of war is TRUTH'.
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Top Five Media Fails, Gaza Conflict Edition

  1. Top Five Media Fails 2014 Gaza Conflict Edition Defending Israel From Media Bias HonestReporting
  2. Casualty Figures as Moral Barometer Reporters often relied on figures provided by the Hamas-run Gazan Health Ministry even though Hamas has a strategic interest in inflating the numbers.
  3. Casualty Figures as Moral Barometer Col. (Ret.) Reuven Erlich of the Meir Amit Intelligence and Information Center checked 152 names supplied by the Gazan Health Ministry: “The list was done hastily and later changes were made. There were a number of false names listed; the details of the dead are only partial, making identification suspicious. There are names used more than once and some might have been killed by their own fire rather than by the Israeli army. The list doesn’t differentiate between civilians and terror operatives. All the dead are listed as ‘shahids’ [martyrs].” Source:!
  4. Casualty Figures as Moral Barometer Media outlets often claimed a civilian count as high as 80%. But a New York Times report found that a suspiciously high number of casualties were males aged 20 to 29 –- the primary age of Hamas terrorists. Source:!
  5. Casualty Figures as Moral Barometer Mainstream media often presented a casualty „scoreboard‰ –– Palestinian numbers next to Israeli numbers. These numbers have moral undertones. Reported without context, they suggest that Israel was the aggressor or that the threat against Israel was exaggerated.
  6. Casualty Figures as Moral Barometer But „the score‰ is not the whole story. It does not reveal the efforts Israel made to protect its civilians, and it doesnÊt take into account the ways Hamas endangered civilians by turning residential neighborhoods into battle zones.
  7. Casualty Figures as Moral Barometer As Bret Stephens wrote in The Wall Street Journal: “The real utility of the body count is that it offers reporters and commentators who cite it the chance to ascribe implicit blame to Israel while evading questions about ultimate responsibility for the killing.” Source:!
  8. The “Battered Journalist” Syndrome Hamas intimidates journalists. The situation in Gaza was so severe that the Foreign Press Association (FPA) issued a scathing condemnation of HamasÊs behavior towards journalists:
  9. The “Battered Journalist” Syndrome From the Foreign Press Association’s statement:! “The FPA protests in the strongest terms the blatant, incessant, forceful and unorthodox methods employed by the Hamas authorities and their representatives against visiting international journalists in Gaza over the past month. … “In several cases, foreign reporters working in Gaza have been harassed, threatened or questioned over stories or information they have reported through their news media or by means of social media.” Source:!
  10. The “Battered Journalist” Syndrome Amazingly, the response from some of the most influential journalists covering Gaza was that the entire issue was over-blown. The New York Times Jerusalem Bureau Chief Jodi Rudoren even called the FPA statement „nonsense‰ on Twitter.
  11. The “Battered Journalist” Syndrome Why go out of the way to downplay something that had an obvious impact on the stories that emerged from the conflict? Because if reporters were transparent about the challenges they faced, they would have to admit that Hamas exerted some level of control over the stories that came out of Gaza.
  12. The “Battered Journalist” Syndrome As journalist Michael Totten wrote following the publication of the FPAÊs statement: “The Gaza war was a huge story, of course, and it had to be covered, but it could just as easily have been covered from the Israeli side of the line. Covering both sides of the story is of course preferable whenever possible, but providing balanced coverage from Israel alongside censored coverage from Gaza is a form of journalistic malpractice. Stop it.” Source:!
  13. Failure to Disclose Missing Information Many journalists and photographers insisted their work was unhindered by Hamas but could not explain credibly why there were so few pictures of Hamas fighters in action.
  14. Failure to Disclose Missing Information The New York TimesÊ star photographer Tyler Hicks said he didnÊt see any terrorists or rocket launchers. „ItÊs as if they donÊt exist,‰ he said. ThatÊs how most photo sections treated the issue – as if rocket launchers and the people firing them at Israel didnÊt exist. Source: http:// m/2014/08/05/looking-for- the-enduring-photo-in- gaza/!
  15. Failure to Disclose Missing Information But there was no shortage of photos of Palestinians reacting to Israeli airstrikes. In numerous photo galleries of Gaza, it was hard to tell that there were two sides fighting, not just one. Media outlets have an obligation to let readers know whatÊs missing.
  16. Over-Emphasis on Grisly War Photos While there were virtually no pictures of Hamas fighters during the days of heavy fighting in Gaza, there was an abundance of pictures of children and babies hurt in Israeli airstrikes.
  17. Over-Emphasis on Grisly War Photos But it badly misrepresented the fighting in Gaza. Taken together with the absence of photos of Hamas fighters, the message is clear: Israel is an aggressor that targets children. In reality, Israel was fighting to protect its citizens against rocket attacks and terrorist tunnels under its borders. Source:!
  18. Failure to State Hamas’s Real Goals
  19. Failure to State Hamas’s Real Goals Throughout the weeks of fighting, and especially during the periods of negotiations for a cease-fire, the media claimed that HamasÊs main motivation was either to ease the blockade around Gaza or to open a port or airport. So why did Hamas spend years building a complex of tunnels and bunkers that reached across the border and into Israel?
  20. Failure to State Hamas’s Real Goals It would be more honest to point out that Hamas is committed to IsraelÊs annihilation. Its charter says so clearly. “The Islamic Resistance Movement is one of the links in the chain of the struggle against the Zionist invaders. It goes back to 1939… and Muslim Brotherhood in the 1948 war and the Jihad operations of the Muslim Brotherhood in 1968 and after.! ! “…the Islamic Resistance Movement aspires to the realization of Allah's promise, no matter how long that should take. The Prophet, Allah bless him and grant him salvation, has said:! ! “’The Day of Judgement will not come about until Muslims fight the Jews (killing the Jews), when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say O Muslims, O Abdulla, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him…’”! Source:!
  21. Failure to State Hamas’s Real Goals The media has an obligation to present the conflict as it is: the aggression of a terrorist group working for the destruction of Israel, and IsraelÊs efforts to defend its citizens.
  22. Failure to State Hamas’s Real Goals As S.E. Cupp wrote in The New York Daily News: “Rarely is it mentioned in a news report that Hamas’ primary objective, its main goal, what it really wants and what its military arm is designed and determined to get, is the total destruction of Israel and the annihilation of the Jews. “It’s a crucial component that’s regularly left out of news reports. But any story that does not mention this among Hamas’ chief demands is not an intellectually honest or complete one.” Source:!
  23. Don’t miss our next installment. Click here to sign up for free. Image Credits: (Slide 1) CC BY flickr/Karl Frankowski; 2) CC BY-SA flickr/Martin Fisch; 6) CC BY-SA flickr/idfonline; 7) Newspaper textureXII by real live lover; 8) CC BY-NC-SA flickr/ShellyS; 11) CC BY-NC-SA flickr/Free Press; 13) CC BY-SA Wikimedia Commons/Jedudedek; 16) CC BY flickr/Surian Soosay; 18) CC BY-NC-SA flickr/Free Press and flickr/Michael Kötter; 19) CC BY-SA flickr/idfonline. Defending Israel From Media Bias HonestReporting