Tuesday, July 03, 2007

The invisible Reuters photo essay

The gross bias that the media has against Israel is not only the wire services' fault. Yesterday, Reuters released a "photo essay" of something that should be considered at least an interesting human interest story and that, from what I can tell, was not published by a single newspaper - because it doesn't fit the usual Middle East narrative:

Imad Yousef, a 17-year-old Palestinian from the Gaza Strip, enters a special clinic for prosthetics in Tel Aviv November 21, 2006. Yousef is one of three Palestinian youths who lost their legs after an Israeli tank shell targeting militants landed in the northern Gaza village of Beit Lahiya in January 2005. With the aid of various humanitarian organizations, they were transferred in February 2007 to the Reuth Rehabilitation center in the central Israeli city of Tel Aviv. Their medical treatment and rehabilitation were financed by Israel's Defence Ministry. REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun (ISRAEL) ATTENTION EDITORS - MOVING A PACKAGE OF TEN PHOTOGRAPHS AS PART OF A PHOTO ESSAY BY RONEN ZVULUN ON PALESTINIAN YOUTHS RECEIVING MEDICAL TREATMENT IN ISRAEL

Ibrahim Fate, a 16-year-old Palestinian from the Gaza Strip, undergoes an initial examination upon his arrival at Reuth Rehabilitation Centre in Tel Aviv February 11, 2007.

Imad Yousef, a 17-year-old Palestinian from the Gaza Strip, undergoes a physical therapy session at Reuth Rehabilitation Centre in Tel Aviv May 7, 2007.

The head nurse of Reuth rehabilitation centre touches the cheek of patient Issa Ramadan (L),a 15-year-old Palestinian from the Gaza Strip, upon Ramadan's release from hospital in Tel Aviv June 28, 2007.

This is one time that Reuters did what it was supposed to do - for once, to show that things are not what they seem, and to report the little-known fact that the Israeli defense establishment is paying to treat these boys.

But it is up to individual newspapers to choose to publish any Reuters pictures or captions - and this one is not considered newsworthy. It is too messy and confusing for their readers to even consider that Israel's evil IDF is anything but the state-sponsored terror organization that fits the usual Reuters meme, and rather than show a story that puts Israel in a good light, it is much safer to decide not to run the story altogether, or even a single photograph from the series.

Especially the last photo. A Palestinian Arab smiling at an Israeli in a Tel Aviv hospital? When there is a choice between showing this or the zillionth picture of old Arab women crying at the funeral of their dead terrorist sons, the choice is quite clear for the majority of photo editors in the world - stick with what they've done before.