A disturbing story is circulating on social networks and the media that a number of premature babies died in their incubators when Syrian forces cut off electricity to hospitals during their assault on the city of Hama. Evidence suggests it is a cruel hoax, and the pictures of the “dead babies” widely circulated online are false.
Immediately after news of the bombing of government buildings in Norway’s capital Oslo, the Internet buzzed with speculation about who might have done it and why. Most speculation focused on so-called Islamist militancy and Muslims. The urge to speculate after grave events is understandable, but the focus of speculation, its amplification through social media, its legitimization in mainstream media, and the privilege granted to so-called experts is a common pattern.
Controversial New York Times Jerusalem bureau chief Ethan Bronner has spoken out at last on a topic he is expert in – advocacy journalism. In response to an email from a Facebook user called Scott Mohn complaining that The New York Times had not covered the 15 July march in Jerusalem held by thousands of Israeli left-wing Zionists and a number of Palestinians from eastern occupied Jerusalem, Bronner wrote:
The New York Times has told The Electronic Intifada it stands fully behind an article by its Jerusalem bureau chief Ethan Bronner despite compelling evidence that the article contains fabrications, misleading statements, and gross exaggerations.
In today’s New York Times, Ethan Bronner profiles a Facebook page which he calls a “virtual bridge” between Israeli, Palestinian and Arab youth. But much of Bronner’s article is misleading and possibly false.
NPR executive Andy Carvin has become prominent for his activities on Twitter during the recent revolts in the Middle East and North Africa. But what is his role? Is he a journalist or a participant?
NPR’s managing editor for digital news Mark Stencel has responded to criticisms made by this blog of the network’s facilitation of a White House instigated event to talk about Obama’s Middle East policy speech that featured just one panelist: Obama’s speechwriter.
To great fanfare, NPR, Foreign Policy and The White House simultaneously announced this morning a joint event to be held tomorrow immediately following President Obama’s much-anticipated speech on US policy in the Arab world.
Just as Palestinian refugees in Lebanon have been disenfranchised from the political process after Oslo, they have been disenfranchised in the media.
New York Times bureau chief Ethan Bronner promotes Israeli propaganda that Palestinian refugees were forced from their homes only after Arab armies intervened on 15 May 1948, ignoring the reality that hundreds of thousands had been forced out since December 1947.