Thursday, May 14, 2020

New York Times Social Media Post: Israeli Soldier Killed by “Rock” - by Emanuel Miller

One headline, one lead paragraph, one social media post has limited impact, but enough of them in a row begin to form the public understanding of the situation as a whole. In this case the message many readers will receive is that Israel is a violent actor, and when Israeli soldiers die it is because of magical rocks that were thrown by… nobody.

Emanuel Miller..
Honest Reporting..
12 May '20..

Mere days after the New York Times published a piece about life-saving efforts in the fight against COVID-19 by Israeli army experts which opened by saying that “The Israeli Defense Ministry’s research-and-development arm is best known for pioneering cutting-edge ways to kill people and blow things up,” the Times has botched another lead and social media post.

Despite coming under intense scrutiny, the journalist in question, David Halbfinger, described the killing of an Israeli soldier this morning as follows:

“A 21-year-old Israeli soldier was killed early Tuesday when he was struck in the head by a heavy rock as his unit was completing a nighttime arrest mission in a Palestinian village near Jenin, in the northern West Bank, the army said.”

The sentence was copied in full by The Times’ social media staff, who used it as the text to accompany social media posts on Twitter and Facebook, further amplifying the effect.

Journalists have a responsibility to accurately, fairly report events. Reporters have a duty to share all the facts. Rocks don’t hit people by themselves, just as car don’t drive into people of their own volition.

(Continue to Full Post)

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