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2010 June 24
By now you’ve heard of the latest instance of Reuters’ anti-Israeli photo manipulation:
Reuters was recently exposed for unfairly cropping images of beaten and bloodied Israeli naval commandos, along with the very weaponry that was wielded by the extremists aboard the Mavi Marmara ship. Following a public outcry over what was perceived as a blatant manipulation of imagery for political effect, Reuters uncropped the offending photographs from its wire service.
Alas, my old hometown paper, the Hamilton Spectator, didn’t get the memo. When they ran a June 9 column by tedious Canadian anti-war bore Gwynne Dyer (who I thought had passed away years ago…), the Spec chose the same discredited photo to accompany it.
Luckily, HonestReporting Canada was on the case.
HonestReporting Canada “is an independent grass-roots organization promoting fairness and accuracy in Canadian media coverage of Israel and the Middle East. With the assistance of our over 23,000 members from coast to coast, HRC monitors the media, recognizes excellence and exposes inaccuracy and bias in Canadian reporting on the region.”
It’s a shame that such an organization has to exist. But thank God they do. HonestReporting quickly sent a detailed op-ed taking issue with the Spec’s coverage, and to the paper’s credit, they printed it.
In fact, as you can see from the image above, the Spectator went one step further: they “republished the unaltered photo with a cut-line to clearly indicate how the extremist’s knife blade was unfortunately cropped out by Spectator photo editors.”
Along with all the goals they spell out in their mission statement, HonestReporting Canada serves another purpose: they model excellence in media watchdogging.
When you read their report on this incident, note the measured tone they employ, and their willingness to graciously allow the Spec to save face. Next time you or your group considers complaining about an incident of media bias, why not check out the HonestReporting archives. You might just glean some great ideas on how to approach Big Media gatekeepers, and get results.