Friday, April 8, 2011

how Associated Press works (for Israel)

Here's a very interesting bit of information I've received from the Council for the National Interest about venerable AP.

How AP works

Since most newspapers don't have their own reporters in Israel or the Palestinian Territories, they obtain their news on this region from wire services. AP is usually the only global wire service taken by U.S. newspapers.

Although AP is a cooperative, which means that it is "owned" by all the news organizations that use its news, in reality there is almost no oversight of its work. Editors around the country simply accept its reporting at face value.

The trouble is, however, that its reporting is consistently Israeli-centric.

The "control bureau" for the region, through which all news reports are funneled, is located in Israel. Its editors are living in Israel, their families are frequently Israeli, and quite often they themselves are Israeli citizens.

Even when an AP report carries a Palestinian dateline and even a Palestinian byline, in the large majority of cases the article was actually written in Israel, frequently by an Israeli editor.

A study of AP's reporting found that it had reported on Israeli children's deaths at a rate seven times greater than they reported on Palestinian children's deaths – even though Palestinian children were killed first and in far greater numbers.
Because of this bias, CNI is starting a blog that will be deconstructing AP reports from Israel and the occupied territories. A great idea, I'm subscribing.

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