Tags: Israel | Media Bias | Middle East | associated press | coverage | journalism | bias

U. of Cincinnati Prof: AP's Coverage Threatens Israel

By    |   Tuesday, 09 Dec 2014 05:20 PM

The Associated Press' coverage of the Middle East is a threat to Israel, and to "the ideal that real journalism is the quest for truth," political science professor Abraham Miller charges in a blistering commentary in The Hill.

The University of Cincinnati educator contends recent allegations by two former AP reporters in the Jerusalem bureau – Matti Friedman and Mark Lavie – "show the AP not simply to be in violation of journalistic ethics, but serving as a propaganda bureau for the anti-Israel cause," Miller writes.

In an article last month in the Atlantic, Friedman, who worked for the AP from 2006 to 2011, wrote news agency reporters chose stories about Israel based on "a belief that to some extent the Jews of Israel are a symbol of the world’s ills."

He also alleged "explicit orders" were given to reporters in 2008 not to talk to NGO Monitor or its founder, Gerald Steinberg, a professor at Bar-Ilan University in Israel. NGO Monitor works to document anti-Israel bias by non-governmental organizations and others.

"Steinberg upset the ideologically critical relationship between the AP and its sources in non-governmental organizations (NGOs), groups that Steinberg revealed are more concerned with bashing Israel than advancing human rights," Miller writes.

Lavie, a former Jerusalem bureau reporter for the AP — whose book "Broken Spring" explores why it's difficult to get accurate information about events in the Middle East — also alleged he, too, was told he couldn't cover Steinberg while working at the AP, Miller writes.

AP spokesman Paul Colford issued a statement following the Atlantic piece denying Friedman's claims that the AP had a "'narrative' that says it is Israel that doesn't want peace; the story of this century-old conflict is more complicated than that." He also denied Steinberg or the NGO Monitor were off-limits to reporters.

"Colford’s ineffective denials now seemed to have at best a passing acquaintanceship with policy at the AP’s Jerusalem bureau," Miller charged.

"In a free society, journalists have a special place, a special responsibility, and get access denied the larger public," Miller writes. "When they give up the quest for the truth and become propagandists for any cause, they remove one of the foundations of a free society.

"The AP doesn’t just threaten Israel. It threatens the ideal that real journalism is the quest for the truth – however elusive, difficult, and imperfect that might be."

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The Associated Press' coverage of the Middle East is a threat to Israel, and to "the ideal that real journalism is the quest for truth," political science professor Abraham Miller charges in a blistering commentary in The Hill.
associated press, coverage, journalism, bias
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2014-20-09
Tuesday, 09 Dec 2014 05:20 PM
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