Adbusters is launching a #AlltheNewsThatsFitToPrint campaign to take on the biased reporting at The New York Times.
For years now, The New York Times has had a pro-Israeli bias in much of its coverage of the Israel-Palestine conflict. Its writers report in-depth about Israel’s plight and suffering, but fail to document the Palestinian side of the story with anywhere near the same level of detail or humanity.
The problem is that a number of The New York Times’ journalists have close family ties to Israel and its military.
In 2010, it was discovered that former Jerusalem Bureau Chief Ethan Bronner had a son enlisted in Israel’s military. The Electronic Intifada described it as a conflict of interest.
Current Jerusalem correspondent Isabel Kershner is married to Hirsh Goodman, a senior employee at the Institute for National Security Studies, a think tank with close ties to Israel’s government and armed forces.
Op-Ed columnist David Brooks has a son in the Israel Defense Forces—at the very moment that Brooks may be writing a column about the fraught sensitivities of the Arab-Israeli conflict, his child is taking up arms against the Palestinians.
Here is a copy of a letter we wrote to The New York Times asking them to provide pertinent biographical details of its writer’s backgrounds. Share your thoughts about this on social media.
Contact the Public Editor* at The New York Times and demand that every time they print an article, details of the writer’s backgrounds be disclosed. Contact Kershner [@IKershner], Brooks [@nytdavidbrooks], Bronner [@ethanbronner], tell them we want to see Palestinian issues treated with the same care and integrity as any other issue. Share the open letter below and let’s get #AlltheNewsThatsFitToPrint and #nytimesdisclaimer trending!
This is the perfect moment for what is perhaps the most influential newspaper in the world to change the tone of its reporting on the Middle East.
For the wild,
*Please note that Margaret Sullivan has recently resigned as Public Editor at The New York Times.
TO THE EDITOR OF THE NEW YORK TIMES:
Re: Israel Polarized Over Soldier Who Killed Wounded Palestinian (March 30, 2016)
Isabel Kershner’s latest article compels me to question your objectivity towards the Israel- Palestine conflict. This story is typical of Kershner’s reporting: she writes in-depth about Israel’s reaction to the shooting of a Palestinian assailant, but fails to document the Palestinian response with the same level of detail or humanity. Like her pieces on January 28 th and February 18 th , Kershner neglects to address both sides of the tragedy.
This is not the first time your paper has been accused of a pro-Israeli bias. In 2010, The New York Times came under fire when an independent publication discovered Jerusalem Bureau Chief Ethan Bronner had a son enlisted in Israel’s military. The Electronic Intifada described it as a conflict of interest, and your own Public Editor agreed.
Readers similarly deserve to know that Kershner is married to Hirsh Goodman, a senior employee at the Institute for National Security Studies: a think tank with close ties to Israel’s government and armed forces. They also deserve to know that Times columnist David Brooks, like Bronner, has a son in the Israel Defense Forces. At the very moment that Brooks may be writing a column about the fraught sensitivities in the Arab-Israeli war, his child is taking up arms against the Palestinians.
I am not suggesting that these or other writers’ private lives necessarily bias their work. That is for each individual reader to decide. But the myth of perfect journalistic objectivity has been set aside; the influence of subjectivity is now understood to be significant, and with that recognition comes an urgent need for transparency.
In the 2010 Bronner case, The Times responded by providing a disclaimer at the bottom of just one of his articles. Clearly, this is inadequate. I urge you to provide relevant biographical details at the end of any article where private interests or relationships potentially conflict with the ideal of fair and accurate reporting. At the very least, this is an issue that warrants substantive debate among your journalists and your readers.