Thursday, May 28, 2020

As Expected, Reuter's Annual Arabic Press Release on Behalf of the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics - by CAMERA Arabic

For Reuters, the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics' annual Nakba Day reports present a opportunity to serve as a Palestinian Authority mouthpiece, amplifying the message of eternal Palestinian victimhood with coverage that suspends journalistic considerations.

CAMERA Arabic..
27 May '20..

Continuing a longstanding tradition, Reuters Arabic’s coverage this month of the annual “conditions of the Palestinian people” report released by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics reads more like a press release for the Palestinian agency than a news report by an independent international news agency.

The Palestinian Authority’s PCBS publishes its report every year in anticipation of Nakba Day on May 15, the date that Palestinians mark as the “catastrophe” of Israel’s founding.

But the annual affair is of dubious newsworthiness. Indeed, the journalistic value of Reuters’ consistent coverage of the annual PCBS report, year after year, is highly questionable at best (2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014 and 2013). Only two figures in Reuters’ 2020 coverage – those concerning the total population of Palestinians and the current number of “Palestinian refugees” – concern 2019. PCBS’s announcement also includes two 2018 figures, which Reuters had not previously reported last year. The rest of the material, which constitutes the overwhelming bulk of the report, concerns 1948 events and their aftermath. Reuters’ West Bank reporters have been covering the PCBS reports every single year since 2013 in much the same way, primarily rehashing the exact same material, in much the same language, concerning events from decades ago, and including minimal material on current data.

For instance, on a consistent basis, Reuters’ yearly article about the PCBS publication alleges, by directly quoting the unchallenged PCBS claim, that “the uprooting of 800,000 Palestinians” was carried out “from their villages and cities, out of 1.4 million Palestinians who, in 1948, resided across historical Palestine in 1300 Palestinian villages and towns.” Nearly identical quote and figures appear in Reuters’ 2020, 2019, 2018, 2016 and 2015 reports.

Recycled over many years are also the claims that “The process of this [ethnic] cleansing was accompanied with the Zionist gangs perpetrating more than 70 massacres against the Palestinians, creating more than 15,000 martyrs,”

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