Friday, June 23

Can You Believe Your Eyes? (Guest Press Analysis)

Colleague Alan Abbey (who still keeps a hand in with op-eds over at YnetNews) calmly sums up the whole media screw-up over coverage of the non-IDF shelling of a Gaza beach, and the furious Human Rights Watch backpedalling, in a guest posting at the renowned Poynteronline media megasite.

The site itself's worth a thorough look-see for quality blogggers and thems that "wanna be's," and journalists honestly trying to deal with the fast developing paradigm of, what they dub, "standalone journalism."


E-Media Tidbits
Thursday, June 22, 2006

"Posted by Alan Abbey 8:00:05 AM
Can You Believe Your Eyes?

"In the last week, heart-rending images of a weeping Palestinian girl on a Gaza Beach after an explosion that killed members of her family and others have received widespread coverage. What is clear is that people were killed and others injured. What isn't clear is who was responsible.

"Initially, the media -- Israeli, Arab and Western -- said it was Israeli Army shelling. But there was little actual evidence of that. In the next few days, the Israeli Army, human rights teams and Palestinians and Western journalists reached different conclusions.

"The Israeli Army's investigation indicated it was not at fault. Others differed. One German newspaper, Süddeutsche Zeitung, apparently questioned the Palestinians' account and came close to accusing them of fabricating the incident after their own munitions caused the deaths.

"What's problematic here is that the press -- all of it, coming from different angles -- jumped to a conclusion early on before any solid facts were in place. Even after more than a week what happened is not clear, and the "truth" may never be known. The famous statement is that "in war, truth is the first casualty." Unfortunately, the media in this case seem to have forgotten this basic rule in its rush to get the story out."

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