Magazine article American Journalism Review

Mideast Bias?

Magazine article American Journalism Review

Mideast Bias?

Article excerpt

When rockets rained out of the Ramallah sky on October 12, Sausan Ghosheh, a producer in CNN's Jerusalem bureau, was there covering another story. Drawing upon her reporter instincts, she phoned in an eyewitness account of the Israeli attack on the Palestinian-controlled city as she dodged fire outside the bombed-out police headquarters.

That report, and others by Ghosheh and CNN producer/correspondent Rula Amin, have been criticized by Israeli officials, who claim the network's coverage is biased. Ghosheh and Amin are Palestinians.

The reporters used the word "we," "as if CNN had become an agent of the Palestinians," Gideon Meir, Israel's deputy-director general for public affairs in the Foreign Ministry, told Jerusalem Post Radio October 15. The Wall Street Journal repeated that charge in an October 17 editorial, doubting CNN made the "right choice" by using Palestinian journalists who "use the word 'we' when reporting about their kinsmen."

"If you're somewhere where news happens, you report," says Eason Jordan, chief news executive and newsgathering president for CNN. "We don't make any apologies for having Israelis or Palestinians or anyone else in the world when news happens, as long as they meet CNN journalistic standards."

As the Mideast conflict continues, the U.S. media are getting barraged with bias charges from all sides: A coalition of pro-Palestinian groups protested outside the New York Times' headquarters October 27, saying the paper's coverage had been pro-Israeli. …

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