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Reuters kills fair journalism
Honest Reporting (www.honestreporting.com) has done an extensive analysis of how Reuters handles titles for stories that related to the Israeli war against Palestinian terrorism, and the bias is amazing:
Headlines are powerful elements of any news story, for a headline is the first (and oftentimes the only) item seen by the reader. Recognizing this, HonestReporting monitored headlines of Reuters news agency reports on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict during the one-month period June 10 - July 10, 2003. [...]
Many of the so-called reportes of AP, Reuters and AFP that report Israel's struggle to survive are either Arab Muslims or Palestinians - their bias is evident.
I copy the full article below, there are other examples of Reuter's bias.
STUDY: REUTERS HEADLINES
Headlines are powerful elements of any news story, for a headline is the first (and oftentimes the only) item seen by the reader.
During this time frame, Reuters issued headlines describing six acts of violence by Palestinians against Israelis, and twelve acts of violence by Israel against Palestinians. Among these, HonestReporting found the following patterns of bias:
1) Named subject
In violent acts against Israelis, the Palestinian agent is named in 33% of the headlines.
In violent acts against Palestinians, the Israeli agent is named in 100% of the headlines. Moreover, Israel is always emphasized by appearing as the first word in the headline.
2) Named object
In violent acts against Israelis, casualties are labeled "Israeli" in 11% of the headlines.
In violent acts against Palestinians, casualties are labeled "Palestinian" or "Hamas" in 50% of the headlines. Considering "militant" as a Palestinian-specific term raises this figure to 71% of headlines.
3) Verb selection
Violent acts by Palestinians are described with "active voice" verbs in 33% of the headlines.
Violent acts by Israelis are described with "active voice" verbs in 100% of the headlines.
A few examples of Reuters headlining Israel in ferocious terms:
"Sharon Vows More Attacks on Militants Despite Talks" (June 15)
Here are three side-by-side comparisons of how Reuters headlines similar violent events involving Israelis and Palestinians:
"Israeli Troops Shoot Dead Palestinian in W.Bank" (July 3)
"New West Bank Shooting Mars Truce" (July 1)
"Israel Kills Three Militants; Gaza Deal Seen Close" (June 27)
"Bus Blows Up in Central Jerusalem" (June 11)
"Israeli Tank Kills 3 Militants in Gaza - Witnesses" (June 22)
"Israeli Girl Killed, Fueling Cycle of Violence" (June 18)
Not only acts of violence during this period generated biased Reuters headlines. To describe diplomatic events, Reuters consistently grants Palestinian statements neutral or pleading language, while Israeli positions are described in uncompromising, aggressive terms. Compare:
Example 1 — Palestinians are peaceful, while Israel is belligerent:
"Palestinian Islamic Militants Declare Truce" (June 29)
"Israel Pours Scorn on Peace-fire with Militants" (June 23)
Example 2 — Palestinians are peaceful, while Israel is belligerent:
"Palestinians Urge Israel to Free Prisoners" (July 4)
"Israel Sets Tough Terms for Prisoner Release" (July 6)
A full list of the Reuters headlines, and notes on our method of analysis, may be found by clicking here.
In the world of Reuters headlines, when Israel acts, Israel is always perpetrating an active assault, and the Palestinian victim is consistently identified. But when Palestinian terrorists act, their Israeli victims are faceless, and the Palestinian perpetrators are rarely named nor described in active terms. Moreover, Palestinian diplomats pursue peace, but are frustrated by their obstinate Israeli counterparts.
Reuters' obvious message? Israel is the aggressor, and Palestinians are the victims.
For the past three years, HonestReporting readers have intuitively sensed that Reuters is taking sides in this conflict. HonestReporting's one-month analysis of Reuters' headlines demonstrates that the claim of Reuters' bias is indeed grounded in fact.
In professional journalism, lack of objectivity is the cardinal sin. As one of the world's most broadly syndicated news agencies, Reuters has tremendous influence on Western perception of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict — thereby making its biased stance all the more reprehensible.
Comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for your ongoing involvement in the battle against media bias.
-- The June 26 murder of an Israeli telephone worker was not included in any Reuters headline.
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