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Canadian Media Watchdog Fights Anti-Israel Bias

8 October, 2009


Bias by omission is one of the most frequent and insidious forms of media bias. By choosing to report certain information over others, the media controls access to information and manipulates public sentiment. This type of bias can occur either within a story, or over a prolonged period of time as a particular news outlet reports one perspective and leaves out another. When it comes to media coverage of Israel, bias by omission often occurs when media outlets neglect to mention the causal factors which lead to the ongoing Arab-Israeli conflict.

A Patrice Gaudreault article (read here in French or English), which appeared in the August 31 edition of the French newspaper Le Droit, attempted to document the observations of BQ MP Richard Nadeau after his trip to the Gaza Strip a few short weeks ago. However, the article was marred by many serious omissions which rendered it incomplete thereby misleading Le Droit readers. Typical charges of "Israeli apartheid" and Gaza being the "world's largest open-air prison" went unchallenged. Nadeau was given a soapbox to attack Israel without challenge and without having any historical context given to the conflict. For example, the article failed to contextualize the reason for both the Israeli and Egyptian blockade of the Gaza Strip and the crucial background information explaining the cause of Israel's Operation Cast Lead this past January. The resulting effect of these omissions saw the decades-old Arab-Israeli conflict presented as if it had occurred in a vacuum, leaving Le Droit readers with the impression that the State of Israel is an unrepentant aggressor seeking the destruction of its Gazan neighbours.

After HonestReporting Canada brought our concerns to the attention of senior editors at Le Droit, they agreed to print an op-ed submitted by HRC staff pointing out some of the many deficiencies of this report. To read the op-ed as it was printed in the Sept. 26 edition of Le Droit, please click here to read the French version or click here to read the English translation.


Take A Pen thanks HonestReporting Canada for the permission to use this piece.
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