Tags: Israel | Media Bias | Associated Press | AP | reporter | bias | Israel

AP Denies Ex-Reporter's Charges of Anti-Israel Bias

By    |   Tuesday, 02 Dec 2014 11:27 AM

The Associated Press is vigorously denying charges by a former reporter who alleges that the news agency is hostile to Israel and that its staffers have an innate "distaste" for the Jewish state.

In an article published Sunday in the Atlantic, Matti Friedman, who worked for the AP from 2006 to 2011, wrote that AP 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."

The article follows a story published by the online news site Tablet in which Friedman leveled similar charges against the AP and other news outlets.

According to Friedman, that bias extended to sources that reporters were allowed to speak with. He claims that "explicit orders" were given to reporters in 2008 not to talk to NGO Monitor or its founder, Professor Gerald Steinberg, a professor at Bar-Ilan University in Israel.

NGO Monitor is an Israel-based group which works to document anti-Israel bias by non-governmental organizations and others.

"In my time as an AP writer moving through the local conflict, with its myriad lunatics, bigots and killers, the only person I ever saw subjected to an interview ban was this professor," Friedman wrote.

When contacted by the Washington Free Beacon, AP officials emphatically denied Friedman’s charges. AP Director of Media Relations Paul Colford said the claim that reporters were instructed not to talk with Steinberg was "demonstrably false," saying the news agency had quoted Steinberg and NGO Monitor "more than a dozen times" in recent years.

Steinberg said he was not shocked by Friedman’s claims about the AP.

"Based on our experience in publishing detailed research on over 150 NGOs claiming to promote human rights and humanitarian objectives, we are aware of the intense efforts to maintain the NGO ‘halo effect’ and prevent critical debate," he wrote on his organization’s website. "While the AP censorship was explicit, we have experienced similar silencing from other media platforms."

Friedman pointed to what he claims were numerous other cases in which the AP refused to publish stories that did not reinforce the premise that Israel is to blame for the continuing conflict. In one case, the AP and other news outlets failed to cover a Nazi-style rally on the campus of al-Quds University, a Palestinian school in the West Bank.

That story came to light only after media outlets like the Free Beacon reported on it.

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The Associated Press is vigorously denying charges by a former reporter who alleges that the news agency is hostile to Israel and that its staffers have an innate "distaste" for the Jewish state.
Associated Press, AP, reporter, bias, Israel
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2014-27-02
Tuesday, 02 Dec 2014 11:27 AM
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