Friday, August 09, 2019

  • Friday, August 09, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon
From the far-left Jewish Currents:

Mari Cohen: You write news, and you also write opinions. Is it traditional in Israel for journalists to do both?

Amira Hass: At Haaretz it has developed like this, rejecting this very American view that journalists should be “objective.” Nonsense, we all have opinions. And we all have a background. An Israeli journalist who served in the army is full of opinions, only he doesn’t claim to have them. You express your opinions by your choice of words. I know in other Israeli media—on the radio for example—they will never report on the issues I report on. There is an opinion that the land belongs to us Jews, so we don’t have to report about all the tricks that Israel has in order to take Palestinian land. There is an opinion [expressed] in the very choice of what to write about and what not to write about. Haaretz has freed itself from this artificial distinction, this deceptive notion that an op-ed is only for columnists and a piece of news is only for journalists. 
Hass is claiming that objectivity in journalism is somehow a strange American idea. In fact, of course, it is the bedrock of journalism altogether. The International Federation of Journalists' first two paragraphs in its Global Charter of Ethics for Journalists state:

1. Respect for the facts and for the right of the public to truth is the first duty of the journalist.

2. In pursuance of this duty, the journalist shall at all times defend the principles of freedom in the honest collection and publication of news, and of the right of fair comment and criticism. He/she will make sure to clearly distinguish factual information from commentary and criticism.
Hass and Haaretz are explicitly violating the basic ethics of journalism.

To be sure, Hass has a point. No journalist is truly objective. Editors do choose which stories to publish, which to ignore, which to put on page 1.

But by agreeing to the basics of journalistic ethics, these media agree that they will issue corrections and not engage in histrionics inside a news article. They agree to strive for objectivity. They try to keep biased language out of news articles.

Hass in this interview states, and is quoted in the Jewish Currents (which clearly subscribes to her philosophy) headline, as saying "Apartheid Is Israel’s 'Desired Reality'”.This is how she writes. If people think that Haaretz is a newspaper, they believe these opinions as facts.

Haaretz can tell the world that it is not in the news business, and that would be fine. But when they claim to be a newspaper, that means that they adhere to basic standards.

Instead, they actually ridicule such standards.





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