A Leauki's Writings
Published on August 31, 2010 By Leauki In The Media

How does journalism work? An example:

http://www.honestreporting.com/articles/reports/The_Photo_that_Started_it_All.asp

I am sure they teach this in journalism schools because all journalists involved knew exactly what to do and all of them did the same.

The case

1. An American Jew visits Israel and is beaten and stabbed by an Arab mob in front of a petrol station.

2. An Israeli solder saves the American and ultimately happens to stand behind the bleeding man.

3. Journalists take a picture of the bleeding man and the soldier.

4. Journalists publish the picture and add the caption "An Israeli police man and a Palestinian on Temple Mount".

5. The American's father sends a letter and clarifies that the bleeding man is his son and not a "Palestinian" and also that there are no petrol stations (visible on the photo) on the Temple Mount.

6. Journalists admit their mistake. Apparently the journalists who took the picture weren't aware of the fact that they were not on the Temple Mount and it never occured to them not to make up an identity for the man or to report what had transpired before they took the picture.

I cannot comprehend how so many journalists could all make the same mistake at the same time with the same picture.

I understand the freedom of the press puts upon journalists an obligation to report the truth. But for some reason the journalists involved here didn't even consider that option before they made up a caption for the picture.

Call it a campaign against free speech but I do believe that people who lie and incite in a situation where lies and incitments can lead to war and death should go to prison.

 


Comments (Page 1)
on Aug 31, 2010

...

on Aug 31, 2010

I cannot comprehend how so many journalists could all make the same mistake at the same time with the same picture.

Yes you can.  You just do  not want to admit the reality, as it is as bad as you fear.  It is not new.  The first global instance of it (I am sure there were many local instances of it throughout time) was Krystalnacht.  Where Faux journalist use an incident (often with pictures since a picture is worth a thousand words) to promote their bigotry.  It is disgusting, a shame, and all too common.  But it is also necessary as the alternative is worse (state regulated media - think Pravda).

Call it a campaign against free speech but I do believe that people who lie and incite in a situation where lies and incitments can lead to war and death should go to prison.

No, that plays into their hands.  We must allow journalism to remain free.  That does not mean that outright lies should not go unpunished, but ignorance is not always an outright lie (the French fined them, but I would call their actions more of ignorance and bias).

instead, we must expose them for what they are.  Hold them up to the light of truth.  In the past that was almost impossible, but today we know there are alternatives.  LGF and Dan Blather, IPCC and McIntyre/McShane/McKitrick/Weyner and Wegman.  And your example of the truth coming out.

It is better to watch your enemy and know where they are than to drive them underground.  Knowing where and what your enemy is doing allows you to counter their lies, distortions, and propaganda as they produce it.  Driving them underground means they will spring up where and when you least expect them.

I never read a controversial story without checking the by-line these days.  And that tells me what the writer's agenda is.  So that when it is used (as one poster on here used the KO lies about Nugent), you are ready to show them for the lies they are.

It does require vigilance.  But the tools at our disposal are greater than at any time in history, and each time you demonstrate they are lies, you reveal the emperor to be naked.  And people see.

There is a reason that the press in America now stands only slight above used car salesmen in terms of integrity.  And that no newsman (or woman) will ever hold the confidence of America the way that Cronkite did.  Exposing them may not bring about a seismic shift over night, but it eats away at their power to distort and destroy the truth.

on Aug 31, 2010

Yes, you and America. You read controversial stories and check them. Americans distrust journalists.

But Europeans believe them. And Europeans also believe that believing what journalists write already constitutes "checking". You have no idea how ignorant you are considered in Europe for reading blogs rather than believing what journalists make up.

I do think it is a direct lie (and not just bias or ignorance) to claim that a picture was taken on the Temple Mount when it clearly wasn't. (There are no petrol stations on the holy site.) It is also a direct lie to claim that the Jew who just ran away from a mob towards the police man was a Palestinian and to imply that he was beaten by the soldier.

I don't think we need a state-regulated media, I just think we should do to journalists who lie what we do to, say, egg moguls who lie. If you sell old eggs and lie that they are fresh, you should be punished and not allowed to work in that business again. And if you sell pictures and lie about what they show, you should be similarly treated by the law.

Maybe you are under the impression that shooting down lies by journalists with facts works. Maybe it does in the US. Here people just look at you as if you follow some fanatical sect or believe in wild conspiracy theories even if you just point out obvious mistakes (or blatant physical impossibilities) in a journalists' story.

 

on Aug 31, 2010

I also think that journalism schools should think about whether they have a code of honour and what went wrong when almost everyone in the profession lies about the same thing at the same time.

 

on Aug 31, 2010

Yes, you and America. You read controversial stories and check them. Americans distrust journalists.

Not all do.  But fortunately those who do not in America, usually do not pay attention to the original news stories anyway.  It was not always like that, it is just getting that way.

But Europeans believe them. And Europeans also believe that believing what journalists write already constitutes "checking". You have no idea how ignorant you are considered in Europe for reading blogs rather than believing what journalists make up.

Unfortunately, I have to defer to your knowledge there.  However, one thing going for the Europeans (at least the English) is that they do not seem to have a lock step mentality in the news.  Different papers, different news.  I know the BBC and the Guardian are very liberal, but others offer the true stories (or at least the other side).  I do not know if you check out Drudge, but most of the "Breaking" news stories are from Uk papers (some from Down Under as well).  If it is sensational (i.e. real news to Americans) the source is likely to be foreign.  perhaps they just have a more investigative press (not all ,but parts that make it worth while to check all sources).

As for Europeans considering me ignorant.  That is like a pig calling me dirty.  Sorry, but I have little respect for them due to their arrogance (present company excepted).

I do think it is a direct lie (and not just bias or ignorance) to claim that a picture was taken on the Temple Mount when it clearly wasn't. (There are no petrol stations on the holy site.) It is also a direct lie to claim that the Jew who just ran away from a mob towards the police man was a Palestinian and to imply that he was beaten by the soldier.

IMHO - I agree.  However, in my quest for fairness, I was giving them the benefit of the doubt.  I do not know they lied, so the possibility exists.....  But you know my opinion of media.

I don't think we need a state-regulated media, I just think we should do to journalists who lie what we do to, say, egg moguls who lie. If you sell old eggs and lie that they are fresh, you should be punished and not allowed to work in that business again. And if you sell pictures and lie about what they show, you should be similarly treated by the law.

Herein lies the problem.  The standards for libel and slander are vastly different between the continent and the colonies.  I know it is a lot easier to get a conviction over there, and I have no problems with taking journalists to court who abuse their duty.  However that would not work here due to the burden of proof that would be required to get a conviction.  I think they need to be held accountable, and yes, prosecuted in egregious cases.  But in order to clean it up, they have to do it.  Government intervention will not make it better - as we see now in the us (the New Black Panther Case).   When one side has the power, they only prosecute those they do not like, not those who did wrong.

Europeans like to think they are so far above the US in all ways.  Perhaps if they took a dose of humility, they would be able to see that perhaps in one respect, America has them skunked.  And that is in our ability to get all the facts before assuming anything.  Our "ignorance" is also our strength since we appear to know more than they do.  perhaps they just do not care, living their relatively safe lives away from harm.  But that will not last.  They are the chicken waiting for the fox - and hoping the fox is vegetarian.

on Aug 31, 2010

Leauki
I also think that journalism schools should think about whether they have a code of honour and what went wrong when almost everyone in the profession lies about the same thing at the same time.

When the people who run the insane asylum are themselves insane, that does not work.  The Journalism professors are for the most part idealistic liberals who have no conception of reality.  They are the cause of the problem, not the solution.

on Aug 31, 2010

Want to fix the problem? Allow modest legal libel against reporters and or media that publishes/broadcasts the incorrect photo or piece. It might cut down on cheesy reporting and ensure stories are fact checked thoroughly. Repeat offenders will quickly find themselves bankrupt. I despise the litigation culture, but I'd make an exception for this.

on Sep 01, 2010

Nitro Cruiser
Want to fix the problem? Allow modest legal libel against reporters and or media that publishes/broadcasts the incorrect photo or piece. It might cut down on cheesy reporting and ensure stories are fact checked thoroughly. Repeat offenders will quickly find themselves bankrupt. I despise the litigation culture, but I'd make an exception for this.

I fear the news media conglomerates are too rich for that. They make more money with the stories than they might lose in court.

 

on Sep 01, 2010

Leauki

Quoting Nitro Cruiser, reply 7Want to fix the problem? Allow modest legal libel against reporters and or media that publishes/broadcasts the incorrect photo or piece. It might cut down on cheesy reporting and ensure stories are fact checked thoroughly. Repeat offenders will quickly find themselves bankrupt. I despise the litigation culture, but I'd make an exception for this.
I fear the news media conglomerates are too rich for that. They make more money with the stories than they might lose in court.

 

The media companies may be - but the reporters are not.  I do not support Nitro's solution only because I hate the litigation even more than he does.  But he is probably right.

The reality of the Media companies however is they are bleeding red ink by the bucket full. While many of the broadcast companies have sugar daddies, those companies are not stupid and will cut a losing division loose if it continues to bleed big.  Already they are petitioning the government for a bail out and the din would just get louder if what Nitro says comes to pass.

The Print media is just about dead anyway.  Even my local rag - not a national name - is not suited for anything more than the bottom of a bird cage.

on Sep 01, 2010

Local print media can be good or bad. It's the state-funded television stations I am now worried about.

They provide EXCELLENT entertainment, but their news look as if they had been made up by people who support public television.

 

on Sep 01, 2010

It's the state-funded television stations I am now worried about.

Coming to a country near me soon, unfortunately.

They provide EXCELLENT entertainment, but their news look as if they had been made up by people who support public television.

Of course!  That is who signs their paycheck.

on Sep 01, 2010

I fear the news media conglomerates are too rich for that. They make more money with the stories than they might lose in court.

The slow bleed compounded with negative publicity of sketchy reporting trials/settlements, would be enough. You would want them to go away slowly (like Newsweek) because that exposes their dishonesty or bias. Disappearing quickly is no good, due to the short memory of the public. They need to be reminded why something is occurring repeatedly.

on Sep 01, 2010

Negative publicity how? The media will report such court cases as attacks on the freedom of the press.

Public television is great. The problem is that it naturally attracts editorial staff of exactly one side of the political spectrum and it's not the side that is against state-funded news reports. Public television should stick to entertainment.

(Ironically, public television even creates better entertainment programming than private television.)

 

on Sep 01, 2010

Negative publicity how? The media will report such court cases as attacks on the freedom of the press.

If they got their info wrong, other news agencies will circle like sharks. If there is one thing they like better than distorting the facts with opinion it's kicking a competitor when their down. That my friend is freedom of the press. A dog eat dog world. When they straighten out and report correctly, they won't have to worry about their liability.

on Sep 01, 2010

If they got their info wrong, other news agencies will circle like sharks

No, they stick together. They also all report the same stuff from the same news agencies.

 

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